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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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