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Ethiopia

Specialists Meet To Chart The Future For The Imperiled Ethiopian Wolf

Wildlife Conservation Research Unit
November 30, 1999

London - This week, more than 60 people from seven countries interested in protecting the Ethiopian wolf met in Dinsho, Bale, to develop a conservation strategy to help save the species from extinction. With fewer than 500 adults surviving, the critically endangered Ethiopian wolf or 'ky kebero' is the rarest wild canid species in Africa.

These elegant, long-legged red wolves survive only in a handful of mountain pockets, the largest of which (200-250 animals) is found in the Bale Mountains National Park, with smaller populations in Arsi (Galama-Chilalo), North Shoa (Menz), North and South Wollo, and Gondar (Simen Mountains and Mount Guna). The Ethiopian wolf, also known as the Simien fox or Simien jackal, is one of the many wildlife species only found the Ethiopian highlands, and is threatened by habitat fragmentation caused by agricultural expansion, disease and hybridisation with domestic dogs.

Organised by the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme, the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Strategy Workshop's main aim was to raise national awareness of the plight of the Ethiopian wolves, the need to conserve them, and to seek ways through research, management, education and local involvement in which these endangered animals and their Afroalpine habitat can be effectively protected. The main output of the workshop will form the foundation of a national conservation strategy for the species, which will amalgamate relevant institutions and funding agencies at local, regional, national and international level. While the main focus of the workshop was on the Ethiopian wolf, participants agreed that there is a need for a centralised policy for wildlife management and conservation. Two important workshops were recommended for national and regional conservation planning and improving skilled manpower for successful conservation of all Ethiopian wildlife.

The participants to the workshop were drawn from the Federal Government, Amhara and Orominia Regional States, national and international scientists, NGOs, and representatives of the local communities from all wolf ranges in Wollo, Gondar, Shoa, Arsi and Bale. The workshop was conducted in both Amharic and English, and was conducted jointly with WildCRU (Oxford University), the IUCN Canid Specialist Group and the IUCN Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, with generous support from the Born Free Foundation (UK), and the Zoological Society of San Diego and Cincinnati Zoo through the Canid Taxon Advisory Group of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (USA).

For more information contact: Dr Claudio Sillero, Coordinator Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme E-mail: claudio.sillero@zoo.ox.ac.uk

Dr Claudio Sillero Wildlife Conservation Research Unit Zoology Department, South Parks Rd Oxford OX1 3PS, United Kingdom Ph: 01865 281264 - Fax: 01865 310447 http://users.ox.ac.uk/~wcruinfo/


Distributed via Africa News Online (www.africanews.org). If this item is redistributed, published or used for broadcast, the content should not be changed and Wildlife Conservation Research Unit should be credited.

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