We wondered whether we would see any Ethiopian wolves on the plateau. There are very few of them left in the world. Last year the count for this endangered canid was about 500 over six small regions, one of which is the Bale Mountains. This year their numbers are up to 550 – lots of puppies, and (perhaps) an indication that the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme‘s efforts are having an effect. The biggest threat to the wolves is rabies and and other diseases spread by domestic animals. It is a national park, but people and their dogs still live nearby, and in ever-increasing numbers.
It turned out to be an excellent day for wolf-watching: we saw not just one, but nine of them. The last few days have been wet, and perhaps they were out today in full force to hunt in the better weather. The afro-alpine plateau is teeming with hares, giant mole rats, and other highland rodents – in fact, according to our guide Awel, this area has has one of the highest concentrations of rodents in the world – and that’s what the wolves like to eat.
Here are a few photos of the fascinating landscape and its inhabitants.