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

(圖解:貝爾山脈,一只埃塞俄比亞狼從高處向外觀望)

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.

一層厚厚的霜雪蓋住了大地,埃塞俄比亞高原黝黑而黯淡的綠地上釋出了一層如紗的薄霧。在冰封的寂靜之中,擺動起伏的霧凇之間,一團鐵銹色的東西拂去了灰塵。黑色的鼻子從粗尾巴的下方冒出來,兩只耳朵在優雅的狹長頭頂上抽動著。最后,這頭狼現身了,拱起后背伸了個長長的懶腰,并抖動身體。在不遠處,其他若干頭狼群成員也現身了,碰碰鼻子來互相打招呼。小狼崽還只有幾周大,從淺淺的巢穴里冒出頭來然后開始嬉戲,爬過巖石,用力拽著彼此的尾巴。天亮了,成年狼小跑著離開,去巡視狼群領地的邊界,并開始這一天的捕獵。



(譯注:生態位(ecological niche)指一個種群在生態系統中,在時間空間上所占據的位置及其與相關種群之間的功能關系與作用)

Nowhere else to go, the wolves make themountains their home

沒有別處可去的狼把山當成了自己的家



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

(圖解:雖然埃塞俄比亞狼是獨行的獵手,它們還是留存了很多自己祖先的社會行為)

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.

雖然它們的獵物體型很小,使得單獨狩獵戰略成為必須,埃塞俄比亞狼身上還是留存了很多祖先的行為模式,包括它們復雜的社會結構;它們在組織嚴密的家族群體中生活,每一群由一對占統治地位的狼來繁殖,從屬的狼則會幫助它們養育幼崽乃至守護領地。在這些群體中存在清晰的等級制,通過日常且儀式化的打招呼來強化。

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.

雖然它們高度適應環境,埃塞俄比亞狼卻正艱難求生。目前世界上只剩下500頭了,分散在六個彼此孤立的種群中,全都在高原上,而且這個數字近些年發生了劇烈波動。位于東南的貝爾山脈是六個之中最大的那個種群的家,有大約250頭個體,生活在多個家族群中。此地便是非盈利的埃塞俄比亞狼保護計劃(EWCP)研究人員心力傾注最多之處,為的是了解這些狼以及它們面臨的威脅,并設法保護這個物種免于滅絕。



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

(圖解:兩只埃塞俄比亞狼在貝爾山上打鬧)

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.

雖然埃塞俄比亞狼已經在這些非洲高山上堅挺了幾千年,但科學家和環保主義者去關切它們的未來還是很對的。是的,這些食肉動物位居食物鏈的頂端,來自人類的迫害很少,而且它們的獵物相對而言是豐富的。然而,盡管有這些有利條件,研究這些充滿魅力的動物已經幾十年,且最為了解它們的研究者,已經目睹了該物種在“非洲屋脊”之上危險地搖擺于生存和死亡之間。現在,為了確保這些狼的生存,他們正竭盡所能。

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

由于人類定居點和家畜,出現了家犬和野犬以及它們攜帶的疾病



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.

狂犬病和犬瘟熱等疾病,對埃塞俄比亞狼這樣的高度社會化物種尤其會造成問題。如果一群中有一頭接觸到被感染的狗或是其他被感染動物的殘骸,在外出捕獵時,它就會把這種疾病傳染給狼群中的其他成員,只消數日。如果那群狼碰到了來自其他狼群的狼,該疾病就能迅速傳遍整個種群。

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年時,保育生物學家克勞迪奧·希萊多目睹了一場狂犬病疫情爆發帶來的影響,當時他正為自己的博士研究在高原上考察埃塞俄比亞狼。他發現的是一具具的尸體,眼看著他所研究的這些動物死去了一大半。他把保護這個物種免于滅絕當成了他的使命。1995年時,希萊多和凱倫·勞倫森一道組建了埃塞俄比亞狼保護計劃。

"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.

“看著我已然如此了解的動物因為狂犬病而殞命是非常難受的”,希萊多說。“這種情況讓我確信,我們必須對此做點什么。94年時我們確認種群數量尚未從90到91年的大爆發中恢復,并懷疑也存在犬瘟熱病毒,這在狗身上發現過。正是在那時我們考慮著要介入,給家犬打疫苗”,他說。就在來年,希萊多和他的同事們開始了這項工作。



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.

貝爾山脈的犬瘟熱在2006、2010和2015年的爆發也造成了重大損失。2010年時,該地區四分之一的成體和亞成體狼死于犬瘟熱。失去成年狼會影響到一個狼群養大幼崽的能力。在2010年的繁殖季節中,研究人員所監視的25只出生于狼群的幼崽,只有3只活到了亞成體階段,存活率僅為12%,相比通常情況下25%至40%的存活率發生了顯著下滑。2015年時,另一場犬瘟熱的爆發消滅了受感染種群近乎一半的數量。



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

(圖解:一只成年狼在追蹤獵物的途中小歇)



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的教育運動不僅增進了對狂犬病和犬瘟熱疫苗的支持,也有助于當地社群了解:照管整個生態系統的工作,在保證他們賴以生存棲息地的健康和欣欣向榮方面發揮了關鍵作用。

Saving the wolves by vaccinating them, too

也用打疫苗來拯救這些狼



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

(圖解:一只母狼照看著她那些喜歡嬉戲玩鬧的小崽)

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.

迄今為止,EWCP給8萬5千多條狗接種了疫苗。該項努力打造出了一個急需的緩沖區,但其本身算不上是一種解決方案。狗的數量持續增長,而且新的狗被不斷引入這個地區,因為人們會四處遷移他們的家畜群,過程中會誕下新的幼崽。科學家們很清楚,要預防疾病的爆發,也需要給那些狼接種疫苗。

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年時EWCP的團隊得到了埃塞俄比亞政府的授權,啟動了一項試點計劃,在這些狼身上測試口服疫苗。他們用的是誘餌策略,把經稀釋的口服疫苗藏在里面,這種空投誘餌的方法,在美國根除郊狼和浣熊種群中的狂犬病一直都很成功,在歐洲針對狐貍時也是。該科學實驗計劃進展地如此順利,這讓他們在過去的八年一直都在用同樣的運載工具。疫苗置于一個小包中然后藏在一大塊羊肉之中;當有狼一口咬下去,疫苗會覆蓋在它嘴里的口腔黏膜上,然后被機體吸收。一旦投放成功,將能保證至少三年的免疫期,但馬里諾提到,免疫期可能會持續更久的時間。

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.

團隊成員會在夜間騎著馬分發誘餌,走的是最不容易驚擾那些狼的路線。一旦有狼吃餌,一名團隊成員就會記錄這只狼的身份,以及誘餌被吃掉了多少。在最初的試點期間,該團隊在幾周后用陷阱捉住了那些狼,好弄清楚這群狼中吃過疫苗的有多少比例,并據此判定該策略的效果。

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.

該團隊了解到,如果他們能給一個家族群中40%的成員(著重讓那些司職繁殖的公母狼獲得免疫)接種上狂犬病疫苗,他們就能把該家族群的幸存機會提升到90%。有些成員可能仍會死于該疾病,但整個群體將能留存下來并重新恢復數量。

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啟動其疫苗試點接種研究之前,爆發了一次狂犬疫情,消滅了該地區內50%到75%的狼種群。但新近的一次在2014年的疫情爆發時,情況就大為不同了:該地區內病死的狼不到10%。疫情來襲時該團隊接種盡可能多狼的現場迅速反應,結合之前已經讓一小部分狼獲得免疫力的接種疫苗的努力,減緩了最近這次爆發的破壞力。



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

“我們期望的是,該國政府能在未來允許犬瘟熱病毒疫苗接種,至少也要對狼群中犬瘟熱流行病的核實作出回應”,馬里諾說。

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."

希萊多說,拯救這種魅力非凡的物種之旅一直都很漫長,他在過去30年冒著苦寒對狼群的追蹤中度過了許多個不眠之夜。“不過在野生動物保育工作中很少會有捷徑。為了減緩那些人對疫苗干預的恐懼乃至贏得他們的信任和支持,我們一路上克服了種種困難”,他說,這也是因為有不可能因為最艱困的障礙而泄氣的堅決。“有了定期的預防接種,我們將有望減少疫病爆發導致的野生種群數量的波動,并能使得最后六個狼種群對局部滅絕更有抵抗力。”

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.

埃塞俄比亞狼在高原地區的存在是生態系統健康的證據,該物種是一個可充當埃塞俄比亞動物保護象征的理想動物。作為一種既熟悉又神秘的頂級掠食者,這種狼是一個引人入勝的物種,正如EWCP中充滿獻身精神的工作人員所證明的那樣,對它動心的有很多人。有了當地社群的幫助和協作,該團隊將繼續工作,以確保這種優雅的犬科動物能在高原上無限期保有其一席之地。