The rarest wolf

My first of several posts from my Ethiopian trip has to be the Ethiopian Wolf, Canis simensis, the most endangered carnivore in Africa, with only four or five hundred left in the wild.  More than half live in the Bale Mountains, southwest of Addis Ababa, our destination, up at 4300 meters (14,000 feet).

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Our wonderful guide Abiy found us seven, none very close, but I managed a few photos. Here is the star:


He or she was hunting the small mammals that live in the Afroalpine vegetation :


Getting close,:


But not catching anything, so he headed off up the hill, out of sight:


Males are up to 40″ long and 24″ high, weighing up to 43 lbs, about coyote size. They have a notably long thin skull.


This one was solitary, but we also saw a group of three, and a typical pack is a family group of around six.


These wolves may be rarest canids in the world. Under Ethiopian law killing a wolf incurs a two-year jail term. The main threats to their survival are interbreeding with the local dog population, and rabies. Vaccination is being used to reduce this threat. There is an excellent Wikipedia entry here:


5 thoughts on “The rarest wolf”

    1. They are related to the Eurasian Grey wolf, but the lineages diverged roughly 1.6million years ago, according to the mitochondrial DNA evidence. There is more about this on the Wikipedia page, see the link in the article.


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