MAMMALS in ETHIOPIA (October 2014)

Dear all,

First of all a happy new year, secondly a small report on a short mammal trip in Ethiopia!

Highlights were a close encounter (on foot) with a Buffalo in Chebera-Churchura and sightings of Aardwolf and Leopard in Awash.

Greets, Matthhias

Lesser kudu



  • vdinets

    I so wanted to get to the far west… but didn’t have time.

  • Jon Hall

    Thanks Matthias. Interesting about the possible Ruepell’s in Awash. I was convinced I saw one there but according to IUCN at least it seems a long way out of range. Another example (Vladimir) for your mammal watching paper maybe. jon

    • vdinets

      African pale fox would be a lot more likely. We saw one near Axum and another one just N of Awash junction in 2009. Rueppell’s is a lot more desert-specialized; the only one we saw in Ethiopia was in northern Afar Desert near Erta’Ale Volcano.

      • matthhias

        I agree that it could have been pale fox as well (Basically, I only saw the head and it was night). I saw 2 foxes near Erta’Ale in October 2013 (daylight sighting) and was at that time convinced it were Pale foxes. Unfortunately I have no picture. You think they can both occur here?

        • vdinets

          IUCN maps for foxes are very approximate (even for better-known species in better-known countries). Considering recent events in Ethiopian zoology, I wouldn’t consider anything impossible anywhere. The main difference is tail tip color: black in pallid and white or at least not black in Rueppell’s.

      • Jon Hall

        The one I saw definitely has a white tip to the tail. We chased it for a while (at speed) in the 4WD but we were always going too fast and bumpy to get a picture.

      • vdinets

        I think we should publish all this. Small Carnivore Conservation would be a good place. If you both could email me the time, date, exact locations, what the animals were doing, and what were the ID features, I can write a short note.

  • matthhias

    I’m sorry but I didn’t have the chance to see it’s tail, so I’m afraid you can’t work with my observation of Awash…

  • T.O,

    Sorry to bump this thread, but I was intrigued by the possibility of pale fox sightings in Awash.

    I have been traveling to Afar several time in the past 2 years for my work on invasive Prosopis trees (and will spend the coming week there as well) and I have seen these foxes on several occasions in the late afternoon. I first put them down as variation within the golden jackal/African wolf mess and these African golden wolfs are pretty common in Afar… But especially after a prolonged sighting last year, close to the dirt road from Awash Sebat to Doho hot springs, I am quite sure they are Pale foxes indeed. Unfortunately I did not get any pictures….

    The locals also differentiate between them and the jackals (wolfs) and they apparently can differentiate them on call…

    I hope I will get a chance to find them again the coming week and get some pictures….

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