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Durham University

Department of Anthropology

Academic Staff

Publication details for Professor Russell Hill

Atickem, A., Simeneh, G., Bekele, A., Mekonnen, T., Sillero-Zubiri, C., Hill, R.A. & Stenseth, N.C. (2017). African wolf diet, predation on livestock and conflict in the Guassa Mountains of Ethiopia. African Journal of Ecology 55(4): 632-639.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

The African wolf (Canis lupus lupaster) was first identified in 2011 in the Ethiopian highlands, with its status as a new species confirmed in 2015. We studied the diet of a confirmed African wolf population in the Menz-Guassa Community Conservation Area of central Ethiopia from scat samples collected by den sites from August to November 2010. Rodents were found to be the principal food items occurring in 88.1% of scats (n = 101), followed by plant material (34.7%) and insects (21.8%). Information on reported livestock predation and ensuing conflict with the agro-pastoral community was obtained through a questionnaire survey. Interview respondents listed the African wolf as the most serious predator of livestock, accounting for 74.6% of the reported kills (n = 492) and 78.9% of the economic loss. Over 70% of reported livestock predation occurred during the dry season (January–April). Better livestock management during this period may significantly reduce conflict. As sympatric Ethiopian wolves primarily feed on rodents, further studies on the foraging ecology, niche overlap and interspecific interactions between the two species should be studied to determine the extent of competition between the two species.