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08 February 2009


Canid Conservation Survey

To all Friends of the Canid Specialist Group,


The IUCN quadrennium came to an end at the World Conservation Congress last October, and all SSC’s Specialist Groups were dissolved. I have been invited by the new SSC Chair, Dr Simon Stuart, to continue to serve as Chair of the Canid Specialist Group (CSG) and re-constitute its membership.


I have already written to the current members of the CSG in this regard, and in parallel I have prepared a short online questionnaire to help me get a better idea of the human resources available among our Friends of Canids. The information thus gleaned will constitute a resource database for easy reference.


This exercise will also assist us in identifying additional CSG members, and CSG Country Contacts (i.e., those of you that reside or regularly work in a country with important canid populations, and have detailed knowledge on their distribution and status).


Click here to get to the survey:



It should not take you more than 5 minutes to complete. Please do it no later than 20 February 2009. Feel free to pass this on to any other people sharing our interest for wild canids. 


Note that if you already received a letter addressed to CSG Members you dot need to complete this survey.


I look forward to hearing back from you. Please do not hesitate to write to me with additional comments or to raise any further Canid related issues.


Best wishes


Claudio Sillero, Chair 

IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group

10 November 2008


Rabies "barrier" to save Ethiopian wolves

Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme

Press Release


A team of dedicated conservationists is battling to save the world's rarest wolf from a rabies outbreak by creating a 'barrier' of vaccinated wolf packs.


With less than 500 left, the endangered Ethiopian wolf teeters on the brink of extinction. In their stronghold in the Bale Mountains National Park wolves live in close contact with the Oromo people. Whilst this coexistence is encouraging, it places the wolves at great risk of catching the rabies virus from the dogs the Oromo use to herd livestock. The Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme (EWCP) has been actively protecting the wolves in Bale Mountains since 1988.

'Despite the efforts of our veterinary team, who vaccinate thousands of dogs in Bale's villages every year, the virus has raised its ugly head again and jumped into the wolf population,' said Dr Claudio Sillero of Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) and EWCP Director. 'Fifteen wolves have died to date, and laboratory tests have confirmed our worst fears that we are facing another potentially devastating outbreak. If left unchecked, rabies is likely to kill over two-thirds of all wolves in Bale's Web Valley, and spread further, with wolves dying horrible deaths and numbers dwindling to perilously low levels.' In 2003 a similar epidemic swept through, and a rapid response by the Ethiopian authorities and EWCP blocked the spread of the epidemic. 

A team led by Claudio, EWCP Coordinator Dr Graham Hemson and Dr Fekadu Shiferaw of the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority is implementing a plan to vaccinate wolf packs to create a 'barrier' to prevent the virus from spreading. The researchers knew from previous outbreaks that they had to move quickly to stop the virus in its tracks so they began by vaccinating the first wolf on 20 October.  

'Tracking and vaccinating these animals is a far from easy task,' said Dr Sillero. 'Our veterinary team are travelling on horse-back and camping out in remote mountains above 12,000 feet with temperatures falling as low as -15°C. But the first three weeks of the intervention have gone well with the team vaccinating to date forty-eight wolves in eleven vital packs that connect the Web Valley population with other wolves in Bale. The objective is to secure a 'cordon sanitaire' of safely vaccinated wolf packs which will prevent the virus reaching other packs living further afield in the Bale Mountains.'


'These preciously rare wolves can ill-afford it another massive die-off', concluded Claudio.

Researchers at Oxford University have developed a detailed knowledge of the wolves from 20 years of continuous study. A sophisticated computer model of how rabies spreads developed with colleagues at Glasgow University guides their vaccination efforts.


Professor David Macdonald, Director of Oxford's WildCRU, commented 'It is only because of years of intensive research that we have the information, and strategies, in place to mount this ambitious vaccination plan. It's a powerful example of the importance of the science and practice of wildlife conservation combined in the effort to deliver practical solutions.'

The intervention has been endorsed by the IUCN Canid Specialist Group and the IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist Group, and has been sanctioned by the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA) and Oromia Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development.


Dr Claudio Sillero

Oxford, UK


EWCP is a WildCRU (www.wildcru.org), University of Oxford endeavour in partnership with the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA) and Regional Governments. The Born Free Foundation (www.bornfree.org.uk) and Wildlife Conservation Network (www.wildnet.org) are the main donors that enable EWCP to protect the world's rarest canid.


For more information on Ethiopian wolf conservation go to www.ethiopianwolf.org

27 October 2008


Vaccination can spare the lives of world's rarest wolves dying of rabies

Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme

Press Release

27 October 2008


With less than 500 left, the endangered Ethiopian wolf teeters on the brink of extinction. Restricted to a handful of Ethiopian Mountains they are actively protected a dedicated team of Ethiopian and British conservationists.


Endangered Ethiopian wolves are particularly susceptible to rabies. In their stronghold in the Bale Mountains National Park they live in close contact with Oromo herders, and their dogs. While this coexistence is encouraging it places the wolves at great risk from the disease which is common in dogs.


Despite the efforts of the EWCP Veterinary Team who have vaccinated thousands of dogs in Bale's villages every year; the virus has raised its ugly head again and jumped into the wolf population. Thirteen wolves have died to date, and laboratory tests have confirmed our worst fears. If unchecked, rabies will kill over 2/3 of all wolves in Bale's Web Valley, and move on, wolves dying horrible deaths and numbers dwindling to perilous levels.


A team lead by Dr Claudio Sillero, Dr Graham Hemson, Dr Fekadu Shiferaw and Dr Karen Laurenson has devised a campaign to swiftly vaccinate wolves to prevent further infection. The intervention has been endorsed by the IUCN Canid Specialist Group and the Wildlife Health Specialist Group, and has been sanctioned by the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA).


The first wolf was vaccinated on Monday 20th October and during the first week of the intervention we have made good inroads, covering four vital packs that connect the Web Valley population with other wolves in Bale. In 2003 a similar epidemic swept through, and a rapid response by the Ethiopian authorities and EWCP blocked the spread of the epidemic.  


This is not an easy task, with our Vet Team travelling on horse-back and camping  out in remote mountains above 12,000 feet with temperatures as low as -15°C, but by securing a cordon sanitaire of safely vaccinated wolf pack that will prevent the virus reaching other packs living further afield in the Bale Massif.  These preciously rare wolves can ill-afford it another massive die-off.


Dr Claudio Sillero

Bale Mountains, Ethiopia


EWCP is a WildCRU (www.wildcru.org), University of Oxford endeavour in partnership with the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA) and Regional Governments. The Born Free Foundation (www.bornfree.org.uk) and Wildlife Conservation Network (www.wildnet.org) are the main donors that enable EWCP to protect the world's rarest canid.


For more information on Ethiopian wolf conservation go to www.ethiopianwolf.org

03 September 2008


e-bulletin of EWCP

If this email does not display properly please follow this link

Dear friends of EWCP,

I would like to thank those of you that came to the WCN Garden Reception in Los Altos in June. We received many generous donations for EWCP, and I enjoyed meeting old friends and making new ones.

Our British supporters please take note that on 7th September we will gather in London's Battersea Park for our second Walk for Wolves organized by Born Free Foundation.

Hope you enjoy receiving regular news from our team in Ethiopia.

Thank you for your support.

Claudio Sillero

WCN solar panel guru visits Bale Mountains
By Stephen Gold, San Francisco, USA

I recently visited the Bale Mountains to inspect three solar electric systems that I facilitated as part of my Wildlife Conservation Network solar project. I was not prepared for the beauty of the Afroalpine highlands and I was equally impressed with the staff and activities of the EWCP. After spending more than a week there, I understood how important and difficult their work is.

I toured with a colleague, and we were met by Graham and Vanessa in Addis. After an arduous drive to Dinsho we were greeted by Edriss, the programme manager, who seems to be everywhere at once. The following day we 4-wheeled to Sodota, where we saw the first solar installation. This provides all of the electricity for the camp and enables PhD student Freya to conduct her research on wolf reproduction. Lead by Mustaffa on horseback, we camped for several days at Keyrensa, Rafu and finally Sanetti, where another solar installation is located. This trek is unbelievably beautiful, especially the otherworldly rock formations at Rafu. We spend the final night in Dinsho with Graham and Vanessa, who cooked us a fabulous dinner.

The success of the EWCP is from the "top down" and the "ground up". All of the wolf monitors, who lead very difficult lives camping at 4,000m, are as committed to the preservation of the Ethiopian wolf as Graham and Claudio are, and everyone was deeply involved with the local community. I feel very privileged to be a part of the EWCP, and I look forward to returning to Ethiopia in the future.

News from Bale

By Graham Hemson

Dinsho is underwater. It has been raining almost non-stop for 2 weeks and our house, storerooms and research buildings have all mysteriously sprung leaks. The rivers and streams with their headwaters in Bale are thundering past and Dinsho market is a swamp.

Nevertheless work continues and our monitors have reports of new packs in an area West of Bale (Somkero) and have collected faecal evidence of wolves in Lajo (an area slightly North of Dinsho). These are all positive signs and point to a population continuing to recover from disease epidemics.

Back at HQ we are preparing for the onset of the breeding season and our big push to gather vital data on our focal packs. The field equipment is being thoroughly checked and elaborate and optimistic work plans are being formulated. One concern is site accessibility and the teams are worried that they may not be able to get into the Web Valley until the flood waters subside. A first scouting foray heads out today and we look forward to their news.

Let’s talk about rats!

By Flavie Vidal

The Afroalpine grasslands of the Bale Mountains support an exceptionally high diversity of rare and endemic rodent species, such as the giant molerat (Tachyoryctes macrocephalus), a favourite prey of the Ethiopian wolf. However, over the last 20 years, the National Park has been used to graze increasingly high numbers of livestock that are suspected to have reduced rodent diversity and abundance. This reduction constitutes a threat to the persistence of the Ethiopian wolves. Investigating the effects of livestock grazing on the Afroalpine ecosystem has been identified as one of the leading research priority for Bale.

As part of my PhD, I will model the impact of livestock-rodents competition on the long-term survival of the wolves. Using EWCP's long-term monitoring data as well as my livestock data collected along transects I aim to produce a map of livestock grazing pressure, highlighting which particular habitats are more prone to overgrazing. Field investigations designed to identify critical links between vegetation, livestock grazing and rodent communities include the construction of enclosures within which no livestock is allowed. These enclosures will unequivocally determine the extent to which livestock grazing has an impact on vegetation diversity/biomass and rodent abundance, as well as inform us on the recovery time-scale of the system once livestock grazing is removed. These enclosures provide a long-term experiment that long exceeds the duration of my PhD, and offer the park a tool to develop the scientific basis for future management of its natural resources.

Rodent surveys in the Arsi Mountains

By Mohammed Kasso

A study on the status and ecology of rodents in Arsi was conducted as part of my MSc degree in Mount Chilalo and Galama Range from August 2007 to April 2008. Live-trapping was used to obtain information on the distribution of rodents and insectivores, their relative abundances and habitat associations. Of a total of 2,525 captures 96% were rodents and 4% were insectivores. A total of 17 species of were recorded, 60% endemic to Ethiopia. Lophuromys flavopunctatus was the most abundant and widely distributed species; Mus mahomet the least abundant and more restricted. The majority of species were associated with the montane forests, whereas the least were trapped in shrubland at higher altitudes. I acknowledge my advisors Prof. Afework Bekele and Dr Graham Hemson for their continuous follow up and EWCP for financial support.


21 August - Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Committee meeting, Addis Ababa
7 September - Walk for Wolves, Battersea Park, London
28 September - EWCP celebrates World Rabies Day
4-5 October - Ethiopian wolves at WCN Expo, San Francisco Bay Area

News | Publications | Contact us
Please help protect these rare and endangered animals

In UK donate via
Born Free Foundation

Worldwide donate with PayPal

© EWCP 2008 - A WildCRU endeavour in parternishp with Ethiopia's Wildlife Conservation Authority and Regional Governments. Funded by the Born Free Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Network. Under the aegis of IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group - info@ethiopianwolf.org
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28 March 2008


e-bulletin of EWCP

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Dear friends of EWCP

Welcome to our very first e-bulletin from the Ethiopian wolf team! I'm mailing this to you as a supporter of EWCP's work to protect these magnificent animals. It is thanks to you that we are able to keep our dedicated field team doing what they love most, protecting the wolves and their imperilled Afroalpine habitat, while taking into account the needs of the people sharing the land with wildlife.

I plan to send a similar e-bulletin every other month to keep you updated on our activities, but if you would prefer not to get the e-bulletin simply reply with Unsubscribe as Subject.

I hope you enjoy these and future news from our team in Ethiopia.

Claudio Sillero
A special 10th anniversary for 'Wolf Day'
By Graham Hemson

Welcome to our new e-bulletin. 2008 has started well for EWCP and the Ethiopian wolves. The people of Dinsho and of Bale now have the Ethiopian Wolf Sports Centre, which EWCP has finally completed building with the kind support of Born Free Foundation through the generosity of Peter Diethelm.

The Centre has a 13 acres of land in the outskirts of Dinsho, fenced and with a perimeter tree plantation. It counts with a football pitch, a volleyball sand court, running track, and plans for a children playground. The club house has a large meeting room, home and away dressing rooms and showers, office and kitchen. There is also a toilet block.

The Centre was opened by local dignitaries on 17th February for the 10th anniversary of 'Wolf Day'. Our annual event was attended by eight elementary schools, several football clubs and crowds from Dinsho and nearby villages. There were school and club football events, school volleyball, 100m metre sprints, and various fun events. read more

Wolves' whereabouts
By Graham Hensom

In the nearby mountains the wolves are continuing their recovery from the rabies outbreak of 2003. The breeding season has been successful and we await our final breeding results in April , with all indicating an adult population close to 350. Some families in the Web Valley are getting large, with Megitti pack now 15-strong. A mating pair has splitted up from their natal Sodota pack and has settled near our camp!

While the wolves are thriving one cause for recent concern has been widespread fires which have started to burn across the Afroalpine heathlands. These fires, started by farmers to clear up grazing ground, have been particularly widespread this year, fuelled by unusually dry weather. The authorities have shown concern, but have been largely unable to control or prevent them. Bale Mountains National Park staff, EWCP and partners Frankfurt Zoological Society and FARM/SOS Sahel have all contributed to the efforts to control the blazes. We all look forward to the arrival of the rains, which should happen any time soon. read more
Scholarship helps EWCP Staff skills
By Zegeye Kibrit

I have worked as EWCP Education Officer since 1998. Thanks to the Sydney Byers Scholarship I was awarded by the Wildlife Conservation Network I toured last September several conservation projects Malawi and South Africa to broaden my experience. In October I travelled to Europe where in partnership with Education 4 Conservation I visited the Large Carnivore Centre in Bulgaria, the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, the UK Wolf Conservation Trust, the Born Free Foundation (founder Virgina MacKenna in the picture) and WildCRU at University of Oxford.

I learnt lots of good things about practical conservation education, and made many good contacts and friends. This experience has invigorated my dedication to the protection of the Ethiopian wolf and I am already implementing some new ideas in the bale mountains. read more
Disney support for Education Campaign in Arsi
By Dejene Dame

In recent years EWCP has received several grants from the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund. Thanks to them I started the EWCP Education Campaign in the Arsi Mountains, home the largest Ethiopian wolf population outside Bale.

EWCP has extended beyond Bale to safeguard Arsi's wolfves from extinction, but a lack of secured budget slowed progress. Now, thanks to the help of the Disney Foundation, US $16,700 are available for our outreach and education programme in Arsi. This is really great! For many highland species, threatened by habitat loss, persecution and disease transmission from domestic dogs, the future is brighter.

Already I have received a motorbike for my environmental work with school clubs (tree planting above) and we are organizing local workshops to discuss environmental issues and an annual celebration of sports and the environment in the region. read more
March 23 - Wolf Day in Asela, Arsi Mountains
May 9 - EWCP Coordination Group Annual meeting, Oxford
Late May - Claudio, Graham and Zelealem travel in North Ethiopia
June14 - Claudio in WCN Garden Reception for Ethiopian Wolves. Los Altos, California
September 28 - EWCP celebrates World Rabies Day
October 3-5 - Ethiopian wolves at WCN Expo, San Francisco Bay Area

News | Publications | How can you help
Please help protect these rare and endangered animals
Wildlife Conservation Research Unit
Tubney House, Abingdon Road
Tubney, Oxon OX13 5QL, UK
Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme
PO Box 215 Robe
Bale, Ethiopia
© EWCP 2008 - A WildCRU endeavour in partnership with Ethiopia's Wildlife Conservation Authority and Regional Governments. Funded by the Born Free Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Network. Under the aegis of IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group
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24 February 2007


Dholes in China

Attempted predation on blue sheep Pseudois nayaur (Hodgson) by dholes Cuon
alpinus (Pallas) in China
Richard B. Harris, University of Montana, Missoula, MT USA 59801
Key words: blue sheep, China, Cuon alpinus, dhole, predation, Pseudois

The principal predator of blue sheep (Psuedois nayaur) throughout its range
on the Tibetan plateau is generally considered to be the snow leopard (Uncia
uncia) (Oli et al. 1993, Schaller 1998). Young lambs may also be taken by
eagles (Aquila spp.) or other raptors, and wolves (Canis lupus) may
important predators in some areas (Schaller 1998). Although the geographic
range of the dhole (Cuon alpinus) is universally represented as including
all the high-elevation areas of western China (Cohen 1977, Fox 1984,
Ginsberg and MacDonald 1990, Sheldon 1992, Zheng 1994), few documented
reports on its distribution or ecology in China have been published. Dholes
are known to prey on numerous ungulates, but there exist only vague
references to them attacking members of the sub-family Caprinae (e.g.,
Heptner et al. 1998). Here, I report an instance of attempted predation on a
group of blue sheep by a pack of dholes in the Qilian Shan, Gansu, China.

For more details see Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 102:
(2006) (in press), or contact rharris@montana.com for a .pdf


12 October 2006


Oxford University News Release: Targeted vaccination programme cuts rabies in endangered Ethiopian wolves

Researchers have produced the strongest evidence yet to suggest that a
targeted reactive vaccination programme, rather than blanket
vaccination, can control infectious diseases like rabies in threatened
wild canid populations (wild dogs, wolves and foxes. (Low-coverage
vaccination strategies for the conservation of endangered species',
D.T.Haydon et al Nature 443, 692-695 -12 October 2006)

The research team from Oxford University, Edinburgh University and
Glasgow University demonstrated that by vaccinating just thirty per cent
of the Ethiopian wolf population, the spread of rabies during an
outbreak can be reduced.. Their study, published in the journal Nature,
suggests that by vaccinating wolf packs living in the connecting
mountain valleys close to the outbreak, they can contain disease
outbreaks with unexpectedly low overall levels of vaccine coverage.

For nearly twenty years Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation
Research Unit (WildCRU) have been studying these animals and in 1995
established the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme (EWCP) to address
the most urgent threats to wolf survival. The population of just 500 can
only be found in remote mountain enclaves in the Ethiopian Highlands.
There are six subpopulations of between 10 and 50, with the largest
group of 350 living in the Bale Mountains in the southeast. Canid
diseases, such as rabies and distemper, are the major killers with
domestic dogs being the main disease-carriers. The EWCP continues to
vaccinate domestic dogs in wolf habitat in an attempt to protect the

After rabies outbreaks in the Bale Mountains in the early 1990s, which
wiped out two thirds of the Ethiopian wolf population in this area, an
emergency vaccination programme was introduced in 2003 in response to
yet another outbreak that year.
The study, an analysis and modelling of data collected by the EWCP,
suggests that a preventative strategy to capture and vaccinate the whole
population is impractical as the wolves live in remote, inaccessible
mountain enclaves. The alternative strategy adopted by the EWCP is an
effective reactive response to outbreaks, whereby Ethiopian wolves
living in the mountain valleys close to infected packs are targeted. The
researchers have shown through modelling that even if outbreaks became
more frequent, fewer wolves would need to be vaccinated under this
targeted scenario, than under a wholesale vaccination programme, in
order to virtually eliminate the extinction threat posed by such

The researchers suggest that routine monitoring of the population
enables the early detection of disease and a rapid response to deal with
it. In the event of a single suspected case, they suggest that
monitoring should be intensified and once two rabid carcass are found,
vaccination teams should be dispatched to target subpopulations living
in connecting valleys. Additional measures, such as vaccinating between
10 and 40 per cent of wolves in affected packs, if targeting the
particularly large and highly connected packs, can further reduce
overall mortality due to these outbreaks.

Dr Claudio Sillero-Zubiri, from Oxford's WildCRU, said: 'Ethiopian
wolves are on of the rarest carnivores in the world, restricted to a few
montane enclaves in the Ethiopian Highlands. Canid diseases, such as
rabies and distemper, transmitted from domestic dogs pose the most
immediate threat to their persistence, and targeted reactive vaccination
intervention presents a useful tool to protect the remaining small wolf
populations from extinction.'

Lead author Dr Dan Haydon, from the University of Glasgow, said:
'Theoreticians have devoted a lot of effort to working out how to
vaccinate populations in ways that prevent epidemics getting started,
but this requires coverage that is impractical in wild populations.

We've looked at vaccination studies that don't prevent all outbreaks,
but do reduce the chances of really big outbreaks - ones that could push
an endangered population over the extinction threshold. These strategies
turn out to be effective and a lot more practical.'

Dr Karen Laurenson, the University of Edinburgh, who has led the disease
work Ethiopian wolves said: 'We have shown that the vaccination of
Ethiopian wolves, when appropriately and strategically used, is a safe,
direct and effective method of reducing extinction threats. With the
advent of new generations of oral vaccines, such methods are becoming
ever more feasible and cost-effective.'

Professor David Macdonald, Director of the WildCRU, said 'The WildCRU's
aim is to put innovative science to practical use. These discoveries
would have been impossible without long-term field-studies, and they
show how cutting-edge science can have down-to-earth practical
significance both for the protection of a very rare, and spectacular,
wild species, and also for human well-being.'

03 July 2006


Field position in Kenya

The African Wild Dog Conservancy has recently launched a community-based wild dog conservation project in the Ijara District of Kenya. We are looking for a student (or someone with a degree in hand) to hire as a project field assistant/collaborator.  This person must be from the local area and speak English.  Please see our website (URL: www.AWDConservancy.org) for details about who we are, what we do, and the project.  We are searching for someone that is extremely responsible, loves the bush, the heat, wildlife, knows the communities (must want to build good working relationships with the Pokomo and Aweer), is innovative, adaptable, knows how to laugh, and is willing to live with little comfort.  We will train the person in field techniques including radio telemetry, and also data management, scientific writing, etc.  Wild dogs are nomadic and cover large distances.  They are difficult animals to study.  Be aware that this is a very demanding job, but also very rewarding for those committed to wildlife conservation and community-based approaches.  
Please email us a short message telling us why you are interested in the position,and attach your CV or résumé.
Kim McCreery, Ph.D. & Robert Robbins, Ph.D.
African Wild Dog Conservancy
P.O. Box 30692
Tucson, AZ 85751
African Wild Dog Working Group &
IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group

23 January 2006


New publication

Trends, dynamics and resilience of an Ethiopian wolf population - J. Marino, C. Sillero-Zubiri & D.W. Macdonald - Animal Conservation 9 (2006) 49–58

Abstract: Fifteen years of monitoring in the Bale Mountains provide a valuable time series to better understand the dynamics of populations of the endangered Ethiopian wolf Canis simensis in the face of epizootics and increasing human pressure. Line transect counts in four study areas were used to identify trends in the local abundances of wolves, people, livestock and domestic dogs (a putative rabies reservoir). Estimates of wolf abundance were validated against total counts in prime wolf habitats, where two local populations decimated by rabies in the early 1990s had recovered fully by 2000. Growth appeared to be regulated by negative density dependence, but the rate of growth was unexpectedly low at reduced densities. Limitations to rapid growth, including an initial gap for which data were sparse, are discussed. In a poorer habitat, wolf abundance estimates were less reliable but indicated slight fluctuations without an overall trend. A local extinction was recorded in an area of marginal habitat. With this exception, trends in wolf abundances were unrelated to trends in the abundance of people, livestock or dogs. Rabies emerged as the main cause of decline for high-density populations. The rapidly increasing livestock grazing pressure in Bale gives cause for concern, calling for further research on its impacts upon long-term wolf survival.

12 January 2006


Job opportunity working with canids in Iran

Wellcome Trust-funded
Ecology & Epidemiology Group
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Warwick

A field-based project to investigate the ecology and epidemiology of an
important global vector-borne human and canine protozoal pathogen
causing leishmaniasis. Following the recent success of a novel
intervention method to reduce childhood and canine infection rates, this
up and running project is designed to test specific hypotheses to
characterise the epidemiological settings in which the intervention
could be appropriately implemented. The primary tasks in this study
include understanding the interactions between hosts (dogs, jackals, and
foxes) and sandfly vectors, to evaluate the behaviour and vectorial
capacity of sandfly species, and quantify infection and transmission
dynamics. Fieldwork will be conducted during the short (6 month)
transmission season over 2 years in rural northern Iran in collaboration
with the Pasteur Institute (Tehran) and University of Medical Sciences

The successful candidate will have a post graduate qualification in
field ecology, extensive experience in trapping, handling and sampling
wildlife, a track record in project management, and experience in a
developing country. Entomological training will be provided.

The initial contract is for 6 months starting in April/May 2006 (i.e.
for the duration of the first transmission season), with likely

For further information and informal discussion, please contact Dr. Orin
Courtenay orin.courtenay@warwick.ac.uk Tel. 02476 524550

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