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An Ethiopian wolf pup looks out from a high perch in the Bale Mountains. (Photo: Will Burrard-Lucas)

(图解:贝尔山脉,一只埃塞俄比亚狼从高处向外观望)

A thick layer of frost blankets thelandscape, creating a gauzy haze over the tans and pale greens of the EthiopianHighlands. Amidst the frozen stillness, a rust-colored lump dusted in rimestirs. A black nose appears from beneath a thick tail, and two ears twitch atopan elegantly long head. At last, the wolf rises, arches its back in a longstretch, and shakes. Nearby, several other pack members rise as well, touchingnoses in greeting. Pups, just weeks old, emerge from a shallow den and beginplaying, scrambling over rocks, tugging at each other’s tails. As the skybrightens, the adults trot off to patrol the edge of the group’s territory andbegin the day’s hunt.

一层厚厚的霜雪盖住了大地,埃塞俄比亚高原黝黑而黯淡的绿地上释出了一层如纱的薄雾。在冰封的寂静之中,摆动起伏的雾凇之间,一团铁锈色的东西拂去了灰尘。黑色的鼻子从粗尾巴的下方冒出来,两只耳朵在优雅的狭长头顶上抽动着。最后,这头狼现身了,拱起后背伸了个长长的懒腰,并抖动身体。在不远处,其他若干头狼群成员也现身了,碰碰鼻子来互相打招呼。小狼崽还只有几周大,从浅浅的巢穴里冒出头来然后开始嬉戏,爬过岩石,用力拽着彼此的尾巴。天亮了,成年狼小跑着离开,去巡视狼群领地的边界,并开始这一天的捕猎。



(译注:生态位(ecological niche)指一个种群在生态系统中,在时间空间上所占据的位置及其与相关种群之间的功能关系与作用)

Nowhere else to go, the wolves make themountains their home

没有别处可去的狼把山?#32972;?#20102;自己的家



Although they are solitary hunters,Ethiopian wolves have retained many of the social behaviors of their ancestors.(Photo: Will Burrard-Lucas)

(图解:虽然埃塞俄比亚狼是独行的猎手,它们还是留存了很多自己祖先的社会行为)

While the small size of their preynecessitates a solo hunting strategy, Ethiopian wolves have retained many oftheir ancestors’ behaviors, including their complex social structures; theylive in tight-knit family groups, each made up of a dominant breeding pair andsubordinates that help to raise the young and defend territories. Within thesegroups, there is a clear hierarchy reinforced by regular, ritualized greetings.

虽然它们的猎物体型很小,使得单独狩猎战略成为必须,埃塞俄比亚狼身上还是留存了很多祖先的行为模式,包括它们复杂的社会结构;它们在组织严密的家族群体中生活,每一群由一对占统治地位的狼来繁殖,从属的狼则会帮助它们养育幼崽乃至守护领地。在这些群体中存在清晰的等级制,通过日常且仪式化的打招呼来强化。

Highly adapted though they are, Ethiopianwolves are struggling to survive. There are currently only about 500 left inthe world, distributed among six isolated populations, all on the highlands,and that number has fluctuated dramatically in recent years. The Bale Mountainsin the southeast is home to the largest of the six populations, with around 250individuals living in multiple family packs. This is where researchers at thenon-profit Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program (EWCP) have focused most oftheir efforts to learn about the wolves and the threats they face, and to tryto protect the species from extinction.

虽然它们高度?#35270;?#29615;?#24120;?#22467;塞俄比亚狼却正艰?#20122;?#29983;。目前世界上只剩下500头了,分散在六个彼此孤立的种群中,全都在高原上,而且这个数字近些年发生了剧?#20063;?#21160;。位于东南的贝尔山脉是六个之中最大的那个种群的家,有大约250头个体,生活在多个家族群中。?#35828;?#20415;是非盈利的埃塞俄比亚狼保护计划(EWCP)研究人员心力倾注最多之处,为的是了解这些狼以及它们面临的威胁,并设法保护这个物种免于灭绝。



Two Ethiopian wolf pups spar in the Balemountains of Ethiopia. (Photo: Will Burrard-Lucas)

(图解:两只埃塞俄比亚狼在贝尔山上打闹)

While Ethiopian wolves have persisted onthese Afroalpine mountains for millennia, scientists and conservationists arerightly concerned about their future. Yes, the carnivores are at the top of thefood chain, they face little persecution from humans, and their prey isrelatively abundant. Yet, despite these advantages, researchers who have spentdecades studying these charismatic animals and who know them best havewitnessed the species’ precarious wobble between existence and demise here onthe "Roof of Africa." Now they’re doing everything in their power toensure the wolves’ survival.

虽然埃塞俄比亚狼已经在这些非洲高山上坚挺了?#30422;?#24180;,但科学家和?#32321;?#20027;义者去关切它们的未来还是很对的。是的,这些食肉动物位居食物链的顶端,来自人类的?#32676;?#24456;少,而且它们的猎物相对而言是丰富的。然而,尽管有这些有利条件,研究这些充满魅力的动物已经几十年,且最为了解它们的研?#31354;擼?#24050;经目睹了该物种在“非洲屋脊”之上危险地摇摆于生存和死亡之间。现在,为了?#32321;?#36825;些狼的生存,他们正竭尽所能。

With settlements and livestock comesdomestic and feral dogs — and their diseases, too

由于人类定居点?#22270;?#30044;,出现了家犬和野犬以及它们携带的疾病



Diseases like rabies and distemper are particularlyproblematic for highly social species like Ethiopian wolves. If one member of apack comes into contact with infected dogs, or with the remains of infectedanimals, while out hunting, it can spread the disease to the rest of the packin a matter of days. If that pack encounters wolves from other packs, thedisease can spread quickly through the entire population.

狂犬病和犬瘟热等疾病,对埃塞俄比亚狼这样的高度社会化物种尤其会造成问题。如果一群中有一?#26041;?#35302;到被感染的狗或是其他被感染动物的残骸,在外出捕猎时,它就会把这种疾病传染给狼群中的其他成员,只消数日。如果那群狼碰到了来自其他狼群的狼,该疾病就能迅速传遍整个种群。

In 1991, conservation biologist ClaudioSillero was in the highlands studying Ethiopian wolves for his doctoralresearch when he witnessed the impact of a rabies outbreak. He found carcassafter carcass, watching the majority of the animals he had studied die. He madeit his mission to protect the species from extinction. In 1995, alongside KarenLaurenson, Sillero formed the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program.

1991年时,保育生物学家?#27515;?#36842;奥·希莱多目睹了一场狂犬病疫情爆发带来的影响,当时他正为自己的博士研究在高原上?#30142;?#22467;塞俄比亚狼。他发现的是一具具的尸体,眼看着他所研究的这些动物死去了一大半。他把保护这个物种免于灭绝?#32972;?#20102;他的使命。1995年时,希莱多和凯?#20303;?#21171;伦森一道组建了埃塞俄比亚狼保护计划。

"It was very hard to see animals I hadgot to know so well perish to rabies," says Sillero. "That convincedme that we had to do something about it. In 1994 we confirmed that thepopulation had not recovered from the 1990-91 outbreak, and suspected CDV, whichwas reported in dogs. That was when we considered an intervention to vaccinatedomestic dogs," he says. Silero and colleagues began this effort thefollowing year.

“看着我已然如此了解的动物因为狂犬病而殒命是非常难受的?#20445;?#24076;莱多说。“这种情况让我确信,我们必须?#28304;?#20570;点什么。94年时我们确?#29616;?#32676;数?#21487;?#26410;从90到91年的大爆发中?#25351;矗?#24182;怀疑也存在犬瘟热病毒,这在狗身上发现过。正是在那时我们考虑着要介入,给家犬打疫苗?#20445;?#20182;说。就在来年,希莱多和他的同事们开始了这项工作。



Outbreaks of distemper in 2006, 2010, and2015 in the Bale Mountains also took a significant toll. In 2010, one quarterof adult and subadult wolves in the region died from distemper. The loss ofadults impacts a group’s ability to raise pups to adulthood. Only three of the25 pups born to packs that researchers monitored during the 2010 breedingseason survived to the subadult stage, representing just a 12 percent survivalrate—a significant drop from the typical survival rate of 25 to 40 percent. In2015, another distemper outbreak wiped out approximately half of the affectedpopulation.

贝尔山脉的犬瘟热在2006、2010和2015年的爆发也造成了重大损失。2010年时,该地区四分之一的成体和亚成体狼死于犬瘟热。失去成年狼会影响到一个狼群养大幼崽的能力。在2010年的繁殖季节中,研究人员所监视的25只出生于狼群的幼崽,只有3只活到了亚成体阶?#21361;?#23384;活?#24335;?#20026;12%,相比通常情况下25%至40%的存活率发生了显著下滑。2015年时,另一场犬瘟热的爆发消灭了受感染种?#33322;?#20046;一半的数量。



An adult Ethiopian wolf takes a break fromstalking prey. (Photo: Will Burrard-Lucas)

(图解:一只成年狼在追踪猎物的途中小歇)



The EWCP’s educational campaigns not onlyboost support for rabies and distemper vaccinations, they also help localcommunities understand how stewardship of the entire ecosystem plays a key rolein keeping the habitats on which they depend healthy and thriving.

EWCP的教育运动不仅增进了对狂犬病和犬瘟热疫苗的支持,也有助于当地社群了解:照管整个生态系统的工作,在保证他们赖以生存栖息地的健康和欣欣向荣方面发挥了关键作用。

Saving the wolves by vaccinating them, too

也?#20040;?#30123;苗来拯?#26085;?#20123;狼



A female Ethiopian wolf keeps watch overher playful litter of pups. (Photo: Will Burrard-Lucas)

(图解:一只母狼照看着她那些?#19981;?#23305;戏玩闹的小崽)

To date, EWCP has vaccinated more than85,000 dogs. This effort provides a much needed buffer, but it isn’t a solutionin and of itself. The population of dogs continues to grow, and new dogs areconstantly introduced to the area as people move their herds around and newlitters are born. Scientists know that preventing disease outbreaks willrequire vaccinating the wolves as well.

迄今为止,EWCP给8万5千多条狗接种了疫苗。该项努力打造出了一个急需的缓冲区,但其本身算不上是一种解决方案。狗的数量?#20013;?#22686;长,而且新的狗被不断引入这个地区,因为人们会四处迁移他们的家畜群,过程中会诞下新的幼崽。科学家们很清楚,要预防疾病的爆发,也需要给那些狼接种疫苗。

In 2011, the EWCP team was given permissionby the Ethiopian government to start a pilot program testing oral vaccinationsfor the wolves. They used a baiting strategy with an oral attenuated livevaccine, which has been used successfully in bait drops in the United States toeradicate rabies in coyote and raccoon populations, and in Europe among foxes.The protocol worked so well that they have used the same delivery vehicle forthe past eight years. The vaccine is held within a packet hidden inside a hunkof goat meat; as a wolf bites down, the vaccine coats the mucus membranes inits mouth and is absorbed into the animal’s system. Once delivered, it providesimmunity for at least three years, though Marino notes that immunity likelylasts longer.

2011年时EWCP的团队得到了埃塞俄比亚政府的授权,启动了一项试点计划,在这些狼身上测试口服疫苗。他们用的是诱饵策略,把经稀释的口服疫苗藏在里面,这种空?#38431;?#39285;的方法,在美国根除郊狼和浣熊种群中的狂犬病一直?#24049;?#25104;功,在欧洲针对狐狸时也是。该科学实验计划进展地如此顺利,这让他们在过去的八年一直都在用同样的运载工具。疫苗置于一个小包中然后藏在一大块羊肉之中;当有狼一口咬下去,疫苗会覆盖在它嘴里的口腔黏膜上,然后?#25442;?#20307;吸收。一旦投放成功,将能保证至少三年的免疫期,但马里诺提到,免疫期可能会?#20013;?#26356;久的时间。

Team members on horseback distribute baitsat night, an approach that minimizes stress on the wolves. Whenever a wolftakes the bait, a team member records the identity of the wolf and how much baitwas consumed. During the initial pilot, the team trapped the wolves a few weekslater to find out what percentage of the pack had been vaccinated and therebydetermine the efficacy of the strategy.

团队成员会在夜间骑着马?#22336;?#35825;饵,走的是最不容易惊扰那些狼的路线。一旦有狼?#36828;?#19968;名团队成员就会记录这只狼的身份,以及诱饵被吃掉了多少。在最初的试点期间,该团队在几周后用陷阱捉住了那些狼,?#38376;?#28165;楚这群狼中吃过疫苗的有多少比例,并据此判定该策略的效果。

The team learned that if they couldvaccinate just 40 percent of a family pack for rabies, with a focus onimmunizing the breeding male and female, they could boost the survival chancesof the family pack by as much as 90 percent. Some members may still succumb tothe disease, but the pack as a whole will persist and rebuild its numbers.

该团队了解到,如果他们能给一个家族群中40%的成员(着重让那些司职繁殖的公母狼获得免疫)接种上狂犬病疫苗,他们就能把该家族群的幸存机?#23869;?#21319;到90%。有些成员可能仍会死于该疾病,但整个群体将能留存下来并重新?#25351;?#25968;量。

Before EWCP started its pilot vaccinationstudy, a rabies outbreak would wipe out anywhere from 50 to 75 percent of thewolf population in the region. But the most recent outbreak in 2014 told adifferent story: Less than 10 percent of the region’s wolves were killed by thedisease. The combination of a rapid on-the-ground response by the team tovaccinate as many wolves as possible when the outbreak struck, as well asprevious vaccination efforts that had provided immunity for a subset of thewolves, mitigated the impact of the recent outbreak.

在EWCP启动其疫苗试点接种研究之?#22467;?#29190;发了一次狂犬疫情,消灭了该地区内50%到75%的狼种群。但新近的一次在2014年的疫情爆发时,情况就大为不同了:该地区内病死的狼不到10%。疫情来袭时该团队接种尽可能多狼的现场迅速?#20174;Γ?#32467;合之前已经让一小部分狼获得免疫力的接种疫苗的努力,减缓了最近这次爆发的破坏力。



"Our expectation is that thegovernment will allow CDV vaccinations in the future, at least in response toverified CDV epizootics among wolves," says Marino.

“我们期望的是,该国政府能在未来允许犬瘟热病毒疫苗接种,至少也要对狼群中犬瘟热流行病的核实作出回应?#20445;?#39532;里诺说。

The journey to save this charismaticspecies has been a long one, says Sillero, who has spent many sleepless nightsover the past 30 years tracking wolves in frigid conditions. "But then inwildlife conservation there are seldom any quick fixes. We have gone throughthe hurdles to allay the fears of those that were concerned with vaccinationinterventions and gained their trust and support," he says, with theresolve of someone unlikely to be discouraged by even the highest of hurdles."With regular preventive vaccination we will hopefully reduce the wildpopulation oscillations observed as a result of disease outbreaks, and renderthe last six wolf populations more resilient to local extinction."

希莱多说,拯?#26085;?#31181;魅力非凡的物种之旅一直?#24049;?#28459;长,他在过去30年冒着苦寒对狼群的追踪中度过了许多个不眠之夜。“不过在野生动物保育工作中很少会有捷径。为了减缓那些人对疫苗干预的恐惧乃至赢得他们的信任和支持,我们一路上克服了种种困难?#20445;?#20182;说,这也是因为有不可能因为最艰困的障碍而泄气的坚决。“有了定期的预防接种,我们将有望减少疫病爆发导致的野生种群数量的波动,并能使得最后六个狼种群对局部灭绝更有抵抗力。”

The presence of the Ethiopian wolf in thehighlands is evidence of a healthy ecosystem, and the species is an idealanimal to act as an emblem for conservation in Ethiopia. An apex predator thatis at once familiar and mysterious, the wolf is a compelling species with whichmany people feel a connection, as proven by the profoundly dedicated staff atEWCP. With the help and cooperation of local communities, the team willcontinue working to ensure that this elegant canid remains in its rightfulplace in the highlands indefinitely.

埃塞俄比亚狼在高原地区的存在是生态系统健康的证据,该物种是一个可充当埃塞俄比亚动物保护象征的理想动物。作为一种既熟悉又神秘的顶级掠食者,这种狼是一个引人入胜的物种,正如EWCP中充满献身精神的工作人员所证明的那样,对它动心的有很多人。有?#35828;?#22320;社群的帮助和协作,该团队将继续工作,以?#32321;?#36825;种优雅的犬科动物能在高原上无限期保有其一席之地。