27 October 2008
Vaccination can spare the lives of world's rarest wolves dying of rabies
Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme
27 October 2008
With less than 500 left, the endangered Ethiopian wolf teeters on the brink of extinction. Restricted to a handful of
Endangered Ethiopian wolves are particularly susceptible to rabies. In their stronghold in the
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
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
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
EWCP is a WildCRU (www.wildcru.org),
For more information on Ethiopian wolf conservation go to www.ethiopianwolf.org