In 1992, an outbreak of rabies from domestic dogs killed three-quarters of the world’s endangered Ethiopian wolves, and another outbreak in 2003 further weakened the population. Based on new research, the 500 or so Ethiopian wolves left might soon get some protection against one of the most serious extinction threats they face.Â Dr. Dan Haydon, an ecologist and epidemiologist at the University of Glasgow, says that vaccination of the wolves against rabies is safe and effective. He and his colleagues have just published research in the journal Nature showing that only 25-30% of wolves would need to be vaccinated in order to confer immunity on the population. Such an operation could be done for about Â£20,000, says one of the authors. The researchers also recommend monitoring of the wolf populations for outbreaks, so that vaccination programs can be implemented or expanded where they are most needed.
Source: Ned Stafford, Saving the Ethiopian wolf, Nature news, and Patricia Reaney, Targeted vaccination could save endangered species. Reuters, October 11.
Image Source: International Wolf Center: Intermediate wolf information – Ethipoian wolves.