20+ Interesting Facts About Ethiopian Wolves

  1. The Ethiopian wolf is a canine native to Ethiopia. It is solely present in six or seven isolated areas of the Ethiopian highlands. Their highest population is in the Bale Mountains.
  2. These wolves have several other names due to their similarity to other canids. These include the Abyssinian wolf, Simien jackal, red jackal, and Simien fox.
  3. Unlike many other canids, the primary food of Ethiopian wolves is small rodents, particularly the common grass rats and giant mole rats. They occasionally hunt in groups for large prey like hares, lambs, geese, and young antelopes.
  4. The Ethiopian wolf is the most endangered canid, with a population of around 500 individuals. The primary reasons behind its low population are hunting by humans, habitat loss, and hybridization with domestic dogs. (Source)
  5. The habitat of Ethiopian wolves includes grassland, shrubland, and rocky areas. It lives on mountains above 3,000 feet.
  6. Ethiopian wolves are one of the 190 mammal species that suffer from rabies. This virus epidemic reduced its population by 75% in 1991, 2003, 2008, and 2014. Scientists successfully reduced the risk of the virus through oral vaccines in dead rats, alongside goat meat and intestines. (Source)
  7. The skull of the Ethiopian wolf assists in eating rodents due to its narrow muzzle and gap between teeth. 
    Skull of an Ethiopian wolf
    Ethiopian wolf's skull is ideal for eating rodents

  8. Genetic studies prove that the closest relatives of Ethiopian wolves are grey wolves and coyotes.  
  9. Ethiopian wolves are one of the only three wolf species in Africa. The other two are gray wolves and African golden wolves. (Source)
  10. Females are smaller and have a lighter color than males. They give birth to two to six pups once a year after two months of gestation.
  11. A dominant female lead the pack of Ethiopian wolves. It mates with a dominant male from inside or sometimes outside the herd.
  12. Ethiopian wolves form an association with geladas, a baboon. Wolves hunt rodents in the presence and assistance of geladas, which increases their success rate. In response, Ethiopian wolves do not eat young geladas. (Source)
  13. Ethiopian wolves are social animals that live in a pack of three to 13 wolves. These groups include both adults and juveniles.
  14. Unlike many other wolves, Ethiopian wolves are diurnal. The prey animals of these canids are also active during the day.
  15. Ethiopian wolves can live for up to 10 years. However, many die earlier due to diseases and other reasons.
  16. Ethiopian wolves occasionally eat sedge leaves. It can aid them in digestion or controlling parasites.
  17. Ethiopian wolves have no predatory animals in their native range. They sometimes become victims of humans.
  18. Ethiopian wolves can catch their prey by digging burrows. They nurse their pups in dens.
  19. Ethiopian wolves are generally not dangerous to livestock due to their unusual diet of rodents. However, they can kill sheep and goats if they graze in or around their territories.
  20. Ethiopian wolves have long and slender legs and snouts. These medium-sized canids can reach up to 3 feet in length and acquire 20 kg weight.
  21. Ethiopia and international organizations are trying to save the remaining Ethiopian wolf population. Therefore, many areas with this carnivore are under protection. These include Bale Mountains National Park, Arsi Mountains National Park, Simien Mountains National Park, and others.

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