The world’s rarest Canid
Ethiopian Wolf Also known as the Simien Jackal or Abyssinian Wolf, Is a canid native to the Ethiopian Highlands. It is similar to the coyote in size and build, and is distinguished by its long and narrow skull, and its red and white fur. Unlike most large canids, which are widespread, generalist feeders, the Ethiopian wolf is a highly specialized feeder of Afroalpine rodents with very specific habitat requirements. It is one of the world’s rarest canids, and Africa ‘s most
endangered carnivore. The species current range is limited to seven isolated mountain ranges at altitudes of 3,000-4,500 m,
With the overall adult population estimated at 360-440 individuals in 2011, more than half of them in the Bale Mountain. The Ethiopian wolf is listed as endangered IUCN, on account of its small numbers and fragmented range. Mitochondrial DNA showed the Ethiopian wolf closer relationship to the gray wolf and coyote than to other African canids
The Ethiopian wolf is similar in size and build to the North American’s coyote, it is larger than the golden blacked, and side-striped jackals, and has comparatively longer legs. It’s skull is very flat, with long facial region accounting for 58%of the skull’s total length. The ears are broad, pointed, and directed forward. The teeth, particularly the premolars are small and wide
spaced. The canine teeth measure 14-22 mm in length, while the carnassial are relatively small. The Ethiopian wolf has mammas of which only six are functional. The front paws have 5 toes including a declaw while the hind paws have four as is typical in the genus Canis males are larger than females, having 20% greater body mass. Adults measure (33.1 - 39.8 in) in body length, and (21-24 in) in height. Adult males weigh 31-43 lbs while females weigh 24.7-31.2 lbs.
The Ethiopian wolf has short guard hairs and thick under fur, which provides at temperature as low as 15C. It’s overall coloring is rusty red, with dense whitish to pale ginger underfur, the fur of the throat, chest and underparts is white with a distinct white band occurring around the sides of the nest.
There is a sharp boundary between the red coat and white marks. The ears are thickly furred on the edges, though naked on the inside. The naked borders of the lips, a small spot on the cheek and an ascending crescent below the eyes are white. The thickly furred tail is white, underneath and has a black tip, though, unlike most other canids, there is no dark patch marking the supracaudal gland. It moults during the wet season (Aug - Oct.) and there
is no evident seasonal variation in coat color, though contrast between the red coat and white markings increases with age and social rank. Females tend to have paler coats than males. During the breeding season the females coat turns yellow, becomes Wookie, and the tail turns brownish, losing much of its hair. The Ethiopian wolf is a social animal, living in family groups containing up to 20 adults (individuals older than one year). Though packs of six are formed by dispersing males and a few females, which with the exception of the breeding female are reproductively suppressed. Each pack his a well-established hierarchy, with dominance and subordination displays being common. Upon dying a breeding female can be replaced by a resident daughter though this increases the
risk of inbreeding. Such a risk is sometimes circumvented by multiple paternity and extra-pack matings. The dispersal of wolves from their pack is largely restricted by the scarcity of unoccupied habitat. These packs live in communal territories which encompass (2.3 sq mi) of land on average. In areas with little food, the species lives in pairs, sometimes accompanied by pups, and defends larger territories averaging ( 52 sq mi). In the absence of disease. Ethiopian wolf territories are largely stable, but packs can expand whenever the opportunity arises, such as when another pack disappears
The size of each territory correlates with the abundance of rodents, the number of wolves in a pack, and the survival of pups.
Ethiopian wolves rest together in the open at night, and congregate for greetings and border patrols at dawn, noon, and evening. They may shelter from rain under over hanging rocks and behind boulders.
The species never sleeps in dens, and only uses them for nursing pups. When patrolling their territories, Ethiopian wolves regularly decent mark, and interact aggressively and vocally with other packs. Such confrontations typically end with the retreat of the smaller group. Unlike most social carnivores the Ethiopian wolf tends to forage and feed on small prey alone. It is most active during the day, the time when rodents are themselves most active, though they have been observed
Hunting in groups when targeting Mountain Nyla calves.