Thursday, March 16, 2006

Ethiopia's wolves under threat of extinction

ADDIS ABABA, March 16 (Xinhuanet) -- The wolves in Ethiopia are under critical threat of extinction, a report said Thursday.

The report said the Ethiopian wolves, which are elegant, long-legged red wolves endemic to the Ethiopian afro-alpine ecosystem, would be extinct without swift intervention and help from the international community.

The report was published by Farm Bulletin, a local monthly magazine for the benefit of higher learning and research institutions engaged in the agricultural sector.

It said the Ethiopian wolves are found nowhere else but in the handful of scattered mountain pockets, fewer than 500.

These specialized carnivores, that prey up on the abundant afro-alpine rodent communities, have never been very abundant due to their mountain habitats, said the report.

The population of the Ethiopian wolves has been declining critically due to increasing human pressure and hybridization with domestic dogs as well as infectious diseases such as rabies, it said.

It called for a swift action to avoid the chance of extinction of the Ethiopian wolves.

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