Alo Hussein, Monitor Team Leader for the Born Free-supported Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme (EWCP), has been monitoring and protecting Ethiopian wolves for 20 years. It’s a vitally important job because the Ethiopian wolf is the world’s rarest canid, with fewer than 500 living in the Bale Mountains.
“I am happy doing this job and have had great experiences from the programme,” Alo says. “We work hard to save the wolf from many threats, often in the harsh mountain weather, camping at high altitude for 20 days each month.”
Field work is a crucial part of Alo’s role. “I study the wolves’ behaviour, pack composition, note the sex and age of each wolf and if they are planning to den,” he explains.
“Most days I am out in the field to do wolf monitoring or to co-ordinate my team’s work. We ride our horses and pack horses, and set up camp in one of our research camps or out in the open.”
Just like many wild animals, Ethiopian wolves face continued threats to their survival. EWCP is working to mitigate these in many ways, including launching the first oral vaccination campaign to pre-empt outbreaks of rabies following a decade of intensive research and field trials.
“In Bale Mountains National Park there are lots of settlements and the dog population continues to increase,” Alo says. “They transmit disease to Ethiopian wolves and it makes me worry that the Ethiopian wolves will continue to die. We must protect the park and the wolf habitat from these threats.”
Alo was born in Gojera, a village near the Bale Mountains National Park, and has always loved wildlife. It was this love that helped him pursue his career – first as a park scout, and then at EWCP.
“EWCP fits perfectly with my ideas for nature conservation,” Alo says.
“I have improved my life with my conservation profession. I help the Ethiopian wolf and the wolves help me to improve my life and to fulfill my children’s needs. I have put them through school and university thanks to this. I will continue to do my best for wildlife and to Keep Wildlife in the Wild.”