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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Trapping and vaccination of Ethiopian wolves Canis simensis to control an outbreak of rabies, Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia

Published source details

Knobel D.L., Fooks A.R., Brookes S.M., Randall D.A., Williams S.D., Argaw K., Shiferaw F., Tallents L.A. & Laurenson M.K. (2008) Trapping and vaccination of endangered Ethiopian wolves to control an outbreak of rabies. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45, 109-116


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use vaccination programme Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 2003–2004 in alpine habitat in a national park in Ethiopia (Knobel et al. 2008) found that vaccinating Ethiopian wolves Canis simensis successfully halted a rabies outbreak. Of 69 wolves vaccinated in the “intervention zone” (beyond the boundaries of the outbreak) between one to four months after rabies was confirmed, all 19 animals sampled one month later had protective levels of rabies antibodies. Six months after initial vaccinations, two wolves that received a booster vaccination at 30 days still had protective levels of antibodies while one wolf that did not receive a booster had levels below those regarded as providing protection. Of five wolves sampled 12 months after initial vaccinations, one that received a booster still had protective levels of rabies antibodies while four that received only initial vaccinations did not have protective levels. The last confirmed rabies death was two months after the start of the vaccination programme. Rabies was first confirmed on 28 October 2003 from wolf mortalities since mid-August. Sixty-nine wolves were vaccinated in the intervention zone, between November 2003 and February 2004. A further eight were vaccinated during follow-up recapture (March–November 2004). Mortality in the affected sub-population was 76%.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)