Publication Year

2008

Abstract

The Ethiopian wolf, Canis simensis, is a large endangered carnivore endemic to the Ethiopian highlands. Over half of the remaining population lives in the Bale Mountains National Park and this population has been monitored since 1983. The present study analyzes the monthly line transect counts in the Sanetti Plateau region of the Park from September 2001-January 2007. As a continuation of the investigation completed by Marion et.al. (2006), these data were analyzed on a yearly basis using index of wolf abundance and encounter rates (divided into three habitat regions) and on a seasonal basis, along with a population density analysis using the Distance 5.0 Release 2 program. Data from the domestic species were also analyzed to determine trends within species and possible relationships between livestock presence and wolf abundance. The present study determined a population density of 0.814 wolves per square kilometer in the transect area. It also found a marked increase in livestock (cattle and sheep/goats) presence since the Marino et.al. (2006) study. There was also a more consistent presence of livestock than previously, as there was no seasonal variation among the study years. Further population density analysis should be done to look for population increase since the 2006 canine distemper epidemic. The recent increase in livestock abundance should also continue to be monitored, especially to see if the wolf populations within optimal habitat regions become affected by the number of livestock.

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