Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Wolves Under Threat

Many populations of wolves around the world are declining due to direct human persecution, habitat loss and the decrease in numbers of their prey species.

Wolf Persecution

The wolf has always evoked many different feelings in people, from admiration and fascination, to hatred, prejudice and fear.  Wolves used to roam Britain’s forests but were hunted to extinction.  Thankfully, studies of the wolf and its behaviour have led to a greater understanding and tolerance for this beautiful creature.  Wolves have now begun to return to some of their former ranges, including France and other parts of Europe.

Species on the brink

(c) M Daines
Vaccinating a wolf to protect it from rabies

With less than 500 individuals remaining, the Ethiopian wolf could be the next of the Earth’s large mammals to become extinct.  The Ethiopian wolf is threatened by loss of habitat, hybridization with domestic dogs and the spread of lethal diseases carried by domestic dogs.

Funded and supported by Born Free, the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme team is working to study and protect the remaining populations and organises patrols to monitor the wolves, and education programmes to raise awareness to their plight.  A recent outbreak of rabies was gradually overcome thanks to the tireless work of the EWCP team, vaccinating wolves and dogs.

Conservation Status

Depending on location, gray wolf populations vary from extinct or scarce, to relatively secure.  Their legal status also varies from complete protection to efforts to exterminate the species.  The IUCN1 Red List, which lists all threatened species of animals, classes the Ethiopian wolf as ‘endangered’.

“We want to protect wild wolves and other dog species, and have to do what we can to address any problems they cause with the help of local communities.”
Dr Claudio Sillero, Born Free’s Head of Conservation.

1International Union for Conservation of Nature
Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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