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Ethiopian jackals

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Ethiopian Jackal / Canis simensis

Study history

The Ethiopian jackal (Latin Canis simensis) is one of the rarest species of the canine family, its many names are the result of a long ignorance of the origin and systematic position of this animal, but now the Ethiopian jackal has been completely separated from foxes and attributed to the genus Canis. Recent molecular genetic studies have shown that the Ethiopian jackal comes from the common wolf. Thus, the Ethiopian jackal is the only representative of wolves in sub-Saharan Africa, since the hyena-shaped dog is isolated in a separate species of canids. In some sources, the species is called Symenskaya fox.

Spread

The range of the species is divided into seven separate populations, five north of the Ethiopian rift, and the two largest south (the entire territory of Ethiopia. There are a number of minor but permanent differences between the wolves living on different sides of the Rift Valley. Thus, the range is divided into two practically isolated parts throughout the Pleistocene part.

The Ethiopian jackal is ecologically very specialized, it lives only on treeless territories at an altitude of 3,000 meters and above, in the zone of alpine meadows, below, in the hot climate characteristic of this region of Africa, these animals cannot live.

Appearance

The Ethiopian jackal is a long-legged and long-faced animal, its appearance is more or less typical for the canine family, the color is dark red, with a light (often white) throat, chest and inside of the limbs, and some individuals have light spots on other parts of the body, the back of the ears and the top of the tail are black. The weight of males is on average 16 kg, and females - 13 kg. The height at the shoulders is about 60 cm.

Breeding

Only dominant females breed, the rest help to breed offspring. The female maintains her dominant status until her death, after which her daughter, the beta female, begins to breed. Often the dominant female mates with males from neighboring flocks, such mating behavior helps Ethiopian wolves to avoid closely related crosses.

For childbirth, the female arranges several dens in rocky caves, under large stones and even (rarely) in open areas. Some dens are used year after year. As one lair becomes contaminated, the female carries the puppies to another. The female brings offspring once a year. The breeding season lasts from August to September. Puberty occurs at the age of 2 years. Pregnancy: lasts 60-62 days.

Offspring: in the litter of 3-7 dark puppies, weighing 200-250 g. Babies acquire an adult color in three weeks. All this time, the female practically does not leave them, so other members of the pack bring food to her. At 20-22 days, the puppies begin to leave the den and examine the surroundings. Lactation lasts up to 4-6 months, but from 5-10 weeks the female already begins to feed the wolf with burnt solid food. At the age of five months, puppies begin to accompany their elders on a hunt.

Lifestyle

Leads a daily and twilight lifestyle. Adults and adolescents (up to nine months old) rest and sleep together in a large group throughout the night, curled up in a ball. All adult wolves patrol and mark the boundaries of their site. There are strong social ties between members of the pack, so at each meeting the members of the pack noisily greet each other.

The lair of the Ethiopian wolf is a system of holes under the ledges of rocks or cliffs. Burrows located on grassy plains have several entrances. Rodents hunt animals one by one, and not together. This distinguishes Ethiopian wolves from other flocking predators. Vision and hearing are well developed. Thanks to them, it looks out or finds prey in open areas covered with short grass (up to 25 cm). The predator carefully approaches the rodent, and then makes a final jerk. It can dig up prey from underground as well. Young antelopes, lambs and hares are sometimes hunted in small flocks. Surplus prey is hidden under piles of vegetable debris or buried in the ground.

the Ethiopian wolf has unusual social behavior. Animals are kept in large family groups of up to 6-13 individuals, closely related. Usually in the pack the following age structure: up to 6 adults, 1-6 year olds and 1-7 puppies. Mature males remain to live in their native flocks even after puberty. Some young females leave the territory of their flock and wait for the death of the dominant female, in which case they can try to take her place in the flock and begin to breed.
Of all adult males, a third are alpha males (dominants), which are producers. Some subordinate males can become dominant, replacing an alpha male after death. Among all adult females, half are alpha females; subordinate adult females are not involved in reproduction. Members of the flock regularly mark the boundaries of their territory with urine and feces, reinforcing the significance of such “border posts” with howls and visual marks (scratched trees).

Nutrition

The main prey of the Ethiopian wolf (up to 90% of the total diet) is rodents (giant mole rats, African grass rats, hares), the remaining part are small antelopes (reed goat, mountain antelope nyala, etc.)

Number

Of all seven populations, only one, in the Bale Mountains, has more than 100 individuals, the total number of the species is approximately 600 adult individuals. The most powerful factors threatening the existence of the species are a very narrow range (only alpine meadows with a cool climate, whose area is reduced due to global warming), occupation of areas suitable for hunting for agriculture, as well as diseases that wolves infect from domestic dogs: In 1990, the rabies epidemic reduced the largest population (in the Bale Mountains National Park from 440 to less than 160 individuals in less than a week. Interestingly, this park was created in 1970 to protect the Ethiopian jackal and mountain Nyala. Despite the fact that the Ethiopian Wolf called symenskoy fox in the mountains of Semien its population is negligible.

The Ethiopian jackal is listed in the Red Book, as a threatened species, in captivity for 2003, not a single individual was kept.

Ethiopian jackal and man

Local residents from the Oromo people, in whose territory the majority of Ethiopian jackals live, almost do not show a negative attitude in their direction, making sure that this animal does not pose a danger to their livestock.

In territories where other peoples live, Ethiopian jackals can be killed from time to time, since their liver is credited with healing properties.

Facts about the Ethiopian Wolf

Canis simensis, order - Carnivor, family: Canidae, one of 8 species of the genus Canis

Spread: mountains of central Ethiopia.

Habitat: pastures, grasslands and moorlands above 3000 m above sea level.

Dimensions: body length 84–100 cm, tail length 27–40 cm, height at withers 53–62 cm, weight 11–20 kg, males on average 20% larger than females.

Description: the coat is reddish brown with a light red undercoat, chin, inner sides of the ears, chest and lower parts of the body are white, with a distinct white shirt-front.

Eat mainly rats and other rodents.

Reproduction: pregnancy lasts 60–62 days, in a brood of 2–6 cubs.

Conservation Status: view is on the verge of extinction

The incomparable rodent hunter (structure and functions)

Recalling coyotes in appearance and size, these medium-sized long-legged and long-faced representatives of the canine family are still referred to under different names: early researchers and biologists called them Abyssinian wolves, Simep jackals, red foxes or Ethiopian jackals. The confusion of names is due to the fact that despite belonging to the genus Canis, the hunting specialization of the Ethiopian wolf is exclusively rodents. Therefore, outwardly, it resembles a large fox. Wide pointed ears, an elongated skull, a narrow pointed muzzle and small, widely spaced teeth - all this is suitable for hunting small mammals

The Ethiopian wolf can be seen when it crosses the mountain plains, hunting for the ubiquitous rodents. It is noticeable due to its brilliant red with white color. The main objects of hunting are the Ethiopian mole rat and several species of grass mice.

Cohesive community (social behavior)

Wolves are most active during the day, and synchronizing their activity with the activity of terrestrial rodents. Hunting for the most part alone, they sometimes come together in groups to chase mountain nyala calves, the swamp goat (Redunca redunca), Stark hare (Lepus starcki) and damana (Procavia babessinica).

The flock normally consists of 3–13 mature (6 on average) individuals, including 3–8 related adult males and 1–3 females, 1–6 year olds and 1–7 puppies. The habitat is relatively small, with an average of 6.4 km in places rich in fodder resources, but reaches 15 km in places with low numbers of prey. Although the territory sometimes looks lifeless, the total mass of rodents on it can reach more than 10,000 kg.

Since prey-rich unoccupied habitats are rare, the flock is forced to protect its sites from outsiders. Wolves spend early morning and evening patrolling the territory and marking borders, using urination, defecation and scratching for this. During the invasion of a neighboring pair, animals use ritualized demonstrations: threatening poses and vocalization, avoiding direct contact, the incident usually ends with the flight of a smaller group, which as a result may lose its site.

A slender, fox-like wolf is well suited for hunting rats and other small rodents in highlands. Despite this, the ability of animals to survive was greatly undermined by human actions. The total number of remaining adult wolves is now measured in hundreds rather than thousands.

Males do not settle, but remain in a flock, where the sex ratio is shifted in their direction - 2.6: 1. Over half of the females settle at the age of two and become “vagrants”, occupying narrow sections between the territories of the flocks until a “vacancy” for breeding is vacated in one of them. Settling wolves often have nowhere to go, and the worst option is to go to the farmland area, so animals leave only in case of emergency.

The dominant female of each flock can bring cubs once a year from October to December (60% of all females participate in breeding). All members of the pack guard the den and bring prey for feeding puppies up to 6 months of age.

Like other canine cubs, Ethiopian wolf cubs have a close and continuous relationship with their mother. Only dominant females breed, although other members of the pack bring prey, helping to feed the offspring after lactation is complete - usually around 10 weeks old.

Subdominant females often help dominant females feed their wolf cubs. A breeding female after death is usually replaced by her high-ranking daughter. This seemingly convenient system can have disastrous consequences if the females mate with the males of their pack - that is, with fathers, brothers or uncles. However, they avoid the danger of inbreeding due to the unusual mating system, which differs from monogamy, typical of the majority of canines blowing. Goning occurs at the end of the rainy season, during which most sexually mature females more or less synchronously arrive in estrus lasting 2–4 pedals. Females are actively seeking contacts with neighboring males, whose groups scour the territory in search of suitable females. As a result of this, up to 70% of mating occurs with males not from this flock.

The smallest of the dogs (environmental status)

The existence of Ethiopian wolves requires specific conditions, which is atypical for the rest of the canids. Food specialization has put them on the brink of extinction: small populations are scattered but fragmented in their habitat. Because of this, they have long been considered rare; they were put on the lists of those in need of protection back in 1938.

Nowadays, the threat of complete extinction has increased even more due to the development of agriculture and overgrazing on mountain pastures. As a result, wolves survived in the form of small populations on separate natural islands not affected by human activity, which significantly increased the risk of extinction. Exposure to canine diseases and the theoretically possible hybridization with domestic dogs are additional negative factors that arise when contacts with people increase. Given that no more than 500 adult wolves have survived, the threat to the existence of this species is highest among all carnivorous mammals.

In nature

The Ethiopian jackal is a long-legged and long-faced animal, its appearance more or less typical for the canine family. The color is dark red, with a light (often white) throat, chest and inside of the limbs, and some individuals have light spots on other parts of the body. The back of the ears and the top of the tail are black. The weight of males is on average 16 kg, and females - 13 kg. The height at the shoulders is about 60 cm.

Although the Ethiopian jackals hunt and eat alone, they live in packs. The males remain in the flock where they were born, and the females, having matured, leave to look for other flocks.

Hunting and food

The diet of Ethiopian wolves is 90% rodents. Predators are physiologically specialized for rodent hunting: they have a narrow long muzzle, rarely spaced teeth, and long legs. Wolves disturb rodents at holes or dig them up. Wolves are cunning enough and, for example, can use a grazing herd as a cover to hide from a rodent.

Total information

Ethiopian Wolf (also known as “Abyssinian wolf”, “red jackal”, “Ethiopian jackal”, “Ethiopian fox”) - one of the rarest species of the canine family, its many names are the result of a long ignorance of the origin and systematic position of this animal, but now Ethiopian the wolf was finally separated from the foxes and attributed to the genus Canis. Recent molecular genetic studies have shown that the Ethiopian wolf comes from the common wolf. Thus, the Ethiopian wolf is the only representative of wolves in sub-Saharan Africa.

Appearance

The Ethiopian wolf is a long-legged and long-faced animal, its appearance is more or less typical for the canine family, the color is dark red, with a light (often white) throat, chest and inside of the limbs, and some individuals have light spots on other parts of the body, the back of the ears and the top of the tail are black. The weight of males is on average 16 kg, and females - 13 kg.The height at the shoulders is about 60 cm.

Distribution and lifestyle

The range of the species is divided into seven separate populations, five north of the Ethiopian rift, and the two largest south (the entire territory of Ethiopia. There are a number of minor but permanent differences between the wolves living on different sides of the Rift Valley. Thus, the range is divided into two practically isolated parts throughout the Pleistocene part.

The Ethiopian wolf is ecologically very specialized, it lives only on treeless territories at an altitude of 3000 meters and higher, in the zone of alpine meadows, below, in the hot climate characteristic of this region of Africa, these animals cannot live.

This species is territorial and monogamous. Young animals usually remain in their places of birth, uniting in flocks of 2-8 individuals. Females leave the territory in which they were born earlier than males, and thus the numerical superiority of males over females is observed.

About 95% of the diet of these predators are rodents. They prey on a giant African molester, whose weight can reach 300-900 grams, and other representatives of the family Bathyergidaeas well as smaller rats and different types of mice. Occasionally, Ethiopian wolves catch hares, small antelopes, or cubs of large species such as mountain nyala. The prey is hunted down in the open, while hunting, they sneak up stealthily until they are at a distance of the final throw (5–20 meters). They can also dig up prey from earthen holes, or occasionally pick up carrion. Cases of livestock hunting are extremely rare. The Oromo people in southern Ethiopia call this beast “a horse jackal,” because of its habits to accompany pregnant mares and cows, so that after giving birth to eat an abandoned placenta.

The Ethiopian wolf is active in the daytime, that is, a daytime predator, which is quite unusual for predators of this genus.

Breeding

Mating occurs seasonally, in August-September, offspring are born after two months. In the brood, there are from two to six puppies that are fed by all members of the pack. Usually only alpha pair (leader with his female) breeds in the pack. Young people begin to move with a pack from the age of six months, but become fully adults at only two years old.

Ecology and conservation

Of all seven populations, only one, in the Bale Mountains, has more than 100 individuals, the total number of the species is approximately 600 adult individuals. The most powerful factors threatening the existence of the species are a very narrow range (only alpine meadows with a cool climate, whose area is reduced due to global warming), occupation of areas suitable for hunting for agriculture, as well as diseases that wolves infect from domestic dogs: In 1990, the rabies epidemic reduced the largest population (in the Bale Mountains National Park from 440 to less than 160 individuals in less than a week).

The Ethiopian wolf is listed in the Red Book, as a species under threat, not a single individual was kept in captivity for 2003.

Local residents from the Oromo people, in whose territory the majority of Ethiopian wolves live, almost do not show a negative attitude in their direction, making sure that this animal does not pose a danger to their cattle.

In territories where other peoples live, Ethiopian wolves can be killed from time to time, since their liver is credited with healing properties.

Sources

  • The new encyclopedia of mammals edited byDav> External links
  • ARKive - images and movies of the Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis)
  • Mammalian Species: Canis simensis with The American Society of Mammologists
  • Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program (EWCP)
  • WildCRU - Conservation of Ethiopian wolves (Canis simensis) of the University of Oxford, Department of Zoology
  • IUCN / SSC Canid Specialist Group - Ethiopian Wolf (Canis simensis)

This page uses content Wikipedia section in Russian. The original article is located at: Ethiopian Wolf. A list of the original authors of the article can be found in revision history. This article, like the article posted on Wikipedia, is available under CC-BY-SA.

Ethiopian Wolf, Abyssinian Wolf, Red Jackal

The Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis), also known as the Abyssinian wolf, Abyssinian fox, red jackal, Symensky fox, or Symensky jackal, is a representative of canine genus from Africa. Numerous names reflect the previous uncertainty regarding its taxonomic position, until recently it was believed that the Ethiopian wolf is closely associated with foxes, as it resembles them very much, and not with the genus Canis (wolves).



The Ethiopian wolf is not only the only representative of its family living in Africa, but also the rarest species listed in the Red Book. According to some estimates, the total number of species is approximately 600 individuals.



In body shape and size, the red jackal is very similar to a coyote or a fox, has long legs and a long, pointed muzzle. The male weighs from 16 to 19 kg, which is 20% more than the weight of the females. Body length can be from 84 to 102 cm, tail length from 27 to 40 cm.



The upper body and muzzle are painted in bright red - red color, belly, chin, the inside of the paws and the inside of the pointed ears are white, and the fluffy tail is black. The skin has short hairs and a thick undercoat that protects the wolf from low temperatures, down to -15 ° C. During the breeding season, the females become more yellowish, and the cubs have dark gray fur coats.



As the name suggests, this wolf is endemic to the Ethiopian mountains located at an altitude of 3,000 to 4,377 meters above sea level. Currently, only seven isolated habitat areas are known, with the largest population in the Bale Mountains National Park (just over 100 individuals). In 2008, the total population was considered to be only 500 individuals.



The red jackal usually lives in Afro-Alpine open meadows, preferring areas with vegetation no higher than 25 cm and a high density of rodents; below, Ethiopian wolves do not live in the hot climate characteristic of this region of Africa.



Despite the fact that the Ethiopian wolf is primarily a solitary rodent hunter, he lives in packs that have their own territory. This is different from most large social predators that live in groups for the purpose of hunting together. All adult individuals go around and mark their territory early in the morning and in the evening, sleep together, curled up under the open sky, and help in raising young alpha females. There is a strong social connection between the members of one group; they greet each other very emotionally.



Males rarely leave their flock, while females, having reached the age of two years, leave their family to be able to mate.



Between October and December, the dominant female flock brings offspring, usually two to six puppies in the litter, who spend their first three weeks living in a den. Up to 70% of all mating occurs with males from neighboring groups to avoid inbreeding (incest). Other members of the flock help protect the den from birds and land predators. They also burp food for puppies during the first four months of their lives, and subordinate females can even sometimes breastfeed puppies of the dominant female.



The diet of the Ethiopian wolf almost exclusively consists of rodents. One study showed that rodents account for 96% of all victims, a significant part of which, in turn, is the Great mole rat (one of the species of rodents of the mole rat family). To improve digestion, Ethiopian wolves were seen eating sedge leaves.



The number of the Ethiopian wolf is catastrophically reduced due to the destruction of the habitat: alpine meadows disappear due to global warming and occupation of areas suitable for hunting for agriculture. Diseases transmitted from domestic dogs also contributed, for example, in 1990, the rabies epidemic reduced the population in the Bale Mountains National Park from 440 to less than 160 individuals in less than a week.


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