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Wolves - Status

Clearly, the Ethiopian wolf distribution is more restricted now than in the past - With less than 500 adult individuals surviving, this distinctive carnivore remains the rarest canid in the world and the most endangered African carnivore.

The Ethiopian wolf has always been rare and, already in 1938 it was listed as requiring protection (Harper, 1945). Under Ethiopia’s Wildlife Conservation Regulations of 1974, it has full official protection -killing a wolf carries a sentence of up to two years in prison. In 1990, the species was classified by the IUCN Red List as Endangered (Ginsberg & Macdonald, 1990).  In 1991-1992 a combination of rabies and shooting, triggered by political unrest, devastated the population of the Bale Mountains, the largest and best-known. As a result the Ethiopian wolf was re-classified as Critically Endangered in 1994 (Sillero-Zubiri & Marino, 2008). Ten years later, when numbers finally recovered, it was down-listed to Endangered (IUCN criteria: < 250 mature individuals in the population; continuing decline in population size; < 250 mature individuals in each subpopulation) (Marino et al., 2006; Sillero-Zubiri & Marino, 2008).

Until recently two national parks protected the wolves’ Afroalpine habitat, Simien Mountains and Bale Mountains, but with the extension and creation of new protected areas, the range of wolf range under some form of protection increased from 40% in 2000 to 87% in 2011

Read more about Protected areas