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Gordon C.H.,Zoological Society of London | Gordon C.H.,University of Oxford | Banyard A.C.,Animal and Plant Health Agency | Hussein A.,Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme | And 8 more authors.
Emerging Infectious Diseases | Year: 2015

The Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis) is the world’s rarest canid; ≈500 wolves remain. The largest population is found within the Bale Mountains National Park (BMNP) in southeastern Ethiopia, where conservation efforts have demonstrated the negative effect of rabies virus on wolf populations. We describe previously unreported infections with canine distemper virus (CDV) among these wolves during 2005–2006 and 2010. Death rates ranged from 43% to 68% in affected subpopulations and were higher for subadult than adult wolves (83%–87% vs. 34%–39%). The 2010 CDV outbreak started 20 months after a rabies outbreak, before the population had fully recovered, and led to the eradication of several focal packs in BMNP’s Web Valley. The combined effect of rabies and CDV increases the chance of pack extinction, exacerbating the typically slow recovery of wolf populations, and represents a key extinction threat to populations of this highly endangered carnivore. © 2015, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All rights reserved.

Van Kesteren F.,University of Oxford | Van Kesteren F.,University of Pretoria | Sillero-Zubiri C.,University of Oxford | Millar R.,University of Pretoria | And 4 more authors.
General and Comparative Endocrinology | Year: 2012

Ethiopian wolves, Canis simensis, live in large multi-male family packs, where males are philopatric and do not disperse. Within a pack, mating and breeding is largely monopolized by the dominant male and female, although extra-pack copulations are common, and subordinate males may sire pups in neighboring packs. Regardless of paternity, all males in a pack help rear the pups. We non-invasively studied patterns in fecal testosterone and glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations using radioimmunoassays of fecal samples collected from nine wild male Ethiopian wolves between August 2007 and February 2008. We tested the predictions of the Challenge Hypothesis, namely that fecal testosterone metabolite concentrations would be higher during the annual mating season, which is the portion of the reproductive cycle when mating and increased aggression typically occur, and lower when there were pups in the pack for which to care. Contrary to the predictions of the Challenge Hypothesis, we did not detect patterns in fecal testosterone metabolite concentrations associated with reproductive stage during our study period. Similarly, we found no patterns associated with reproductive stage in male fecal glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations. Dominant males had higher average fecal testosterone and glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations than did subordinates, which may be related to higher rates of aggression and mate guarding in dominant males of group-living canids, a pattern also reported in African wild dogs, Lycaon pictus. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Gower D.J.,Natural History Museum in London | Doherty-Bone T.M.,Natural History Museum in London | Aberra R.K.,Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority | Mengistu A.,University of Basel | And 7 more authors.
Herpetological Journal | Year: 2012

Surveys of the potentially lethal amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis - Bd) in Africa are patchy, especially in some regions of high species endemicity. We present results of the first Bd surveys of wild amphibians in Ethiopia, for two upland regions on either side of the Rift Valley: The Bale Mountains and the Kaffa region. Surveys were opportunistic so that robust interpretation of the data is limited. Utilizing diagnostic qPCR assays, 51 out of 120 frogs (14 species in 10 genera) tested positive for Bd at altitudes of 1,620-3,225 m, across all genera and species, and all but two localities. Prevalence was not significantly different between the two regions or two years (2008, 2009) sampled. Prevalence and parasite load was higher in species with aquatic tadpoles than those with terrestrial early life-history stages, but these differences were not significant. Impacts of Bd infection were not investigated, but no dead or dying frogs were found. This is the first report of Bd in Ethiopia, a country in which approximately 40% of its more than 60 species are endemic. Declines have occurred in some frog species in some localities in Ethiopia, and although habitat degradation is a likely cause in at least some places, further studies of Bd in Ethiopia are required to understand if it is a threat.

Fischer A.,James Hutton Institute | Sandstrom C.,Umea University | Delibes-Mateos M.,Institute Investigacion en Recursos Cinegeticos IREC CSIC UCLM JCCM | Arroyo B.,Institute Investigacion en Recursos Cinegeticos IREC CSIC UCLM JCCM | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management | Year: 2013

In many contemporary societies, multiple functions are connected to hunting. Here, we use the concept of multifunctionality to investigate the role of hunting beyond its traditional function of supplying meat. Hunting may contribute, for example, to biodiversity conservation, recreation and the preservation of economies and cultures in rural areas. Our comparative analysis of hunting in eight study sites in Europe and Africa examines the tensions and trade-offs between these ecological, economic and social functions of hunting, and investigates the interplay between the institutions regulating these functions to better understand conflicts over hunting. Based on this analysis, we present institutional arrangements that have developed to address these challenges of multifunctionality, and explore the institutional change brought about by such arrangements. Finally, we discuss the implications of this study for policy and institutional design. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Kebede F.,Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority | Rosenbom S.,University of Porto | Khalatbari L.,University of Porto | Moehlman P.D.,SSC Equid Specialist Group | And 2 more authors.
Mitochondrial DNA | Year: 2016

The endangered Grevy's Zebra (Equus grevyi) is confined to the Horn of Africa, specifically Ethiopia and Kenya. It is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation due to human encroachment of historic range. Knowledge of population genetics is essential for the development of appropriate conservation actions and management. The focus of this study was to assess the heterogeneity and genetic distinctiveness of the two Grevys zebra populations in Ethiopia. Non-invasive fecal samples (N = 120) were collected during 2009-2010 from Grevys zebra populations in the Alledeghi Wildlife Reserve and the Sarite area, Ethiopia. Analyses of a 329 bp of the mtDNA control region of 47 sequences, revealed the existence of two unreported haplotypes in the northern population of Alledeghi, that were not shared with the southern population of Sarite. The Sarite population is contiguous with the Grevys zebra population in Kenya. The nucleotide diversity levels found in both the populations are extremely low. © 2014 Informa UK Ltd.

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