Following on from the recent Ethiopian wolf rabies vaccinations during May and June, life has settled down somewhat in the Bale Mountains. The EWCP monitoring team has been deployed to Sanetti (the vaccination site) and back to Morebawa (the rabies outbreak site). We also have a constant presence in the Web Valley (the October outbreak site). The good news is that no wolf carcasses have been found since the end of vaccinations in June. The two carcasses found on the Sanetti Plateau during the vaccinations tested negative for rabies. As they were both juveniles, they most likely died naturally – this time of year sees high mortality in wolves of this age, due to them being independent and struggling to find food by themselves.
We have had repeated visits to the packs where we were vaccinating in Sanetti. All wolves except one have been observed since they were vaccinated. This is an exceptionally high return rate, a great effort by the monitoring team.
We recently had further good news on the return of the team from Morebawa. During the rabies outbreak, the team had only seen 26 live wolves, and so it was feared that as many as 70 were dead or missing. However, we have now sighted 32 live wolves, and we know that seven of the remaining eleven packs still have an adult male and an adult female. The survival of these breeding pairs will be crucial for ensuring a rapid recovery of wolf numbers in this area.
All the monitoring team have worked exceptionally hard and we are lucky to have such dedicated and skilled staff.