More than 20 indigenous groups have called on the Australian government to stop culling Dingoes

For indigenous communities, killing dingoes are a cultural icon, and for them killing them is tantamount to killing a family member.

This has been raised more forcefully, after recent surveys showed that the Australian dingo is actually genetically very pure.

Given their classification of being native species, they should not be culled.

It is true that there is some question as to when the dingo arrived in Australia, and whether it arrived with early humans, however that would still mean that they arrived 50,000 years ago, which would definitely make them native in almost any regular description.

Ethiopian wolf

The Ethiopian wolf is restricted to the highlands of Ethiopia, and the current count is only 366 ,

Ethiopian wolf

The Ethiopian wolf is a highly endangered canid that is restricted to the highlands of Ethiopia. Other names include the Ethiopian fox, or the Simien wolf.

In terms of size, it is about the same size as the Coyote, Genetically, they are more similar to wolves than all jackals (except the Golden jackal). Here, below you can see how closely related each of the wolves are. While they look rather like jackals, their behaviour is far more like wolves – though due to the prey in the area, they do not hunt in packs (though there are regions of earth where grey wolves do not hunt as a pack either.

Golden Jackal

Golden Jackal

The Golden jackal is a species found across the south eastern part of Europe as well as throughout much of southern Asia. It is the animal which the African wolf was confused with, and the reason that it was described as a species so recently.


Despite its name, the Golden jackal is not closely related to the African Black-backed jackal or Side-striped jackal, which are part of the genus Lupulella, being instead closer to wolves and coyotes. The ancestor of the Golden jackal is believed to be the extinct Arno river dog that lived in southern Europe 1.9 million years ago. It is described as having been a small, jackal-like canine. Genetic studies indicate that the Golden jackal expanded from India around 20,000 years ago, towards the end of the last Last Glacial Maximum. The oldest Golden jackal fossil, found at the Ksar Akil rock shelter near Beirut, Lebanon, is 7,600 years old. The oldest golden jackal fossils in Europe were found in Greece and are 7,000 years old.

Golden jackals live eight to nine years in the wild and up to 16 in captivity.

Living nearby human settlements, Golden jackals are strictly nocturnal. However, those living in other areas can be partly diurnal. They generally live in pairs or as a family unit. Living in pairs, the jackals share most of their activity with their partners. By hunting together they are three times more successful, than hunting alone. Jackal families hunt on a territory of about 2-3 sq. km. all year round. Looking for shelter, they frequently use caverns, dug by other animals. Golden jackals can also dig caverns themselves as well as use crevices in rocks. They are very friendly to their partners. Scratching one another all over their bodies is a common activity between mates. Nevertheless, once strange jackals encounter each other, their behaviour shows subordination, domination, and even readiness to attack.

African wolf

African Wolf

Perhaps one of the more interesting announcements from wildlife study in the last decade was the discovery of a wolf living under everyones nose in Africa. It is a little understandable, as it does look quite like a jackal, and certainly different to a European wolf. Having said this, it is still a significant oversight

It was initially described as the African Wolf back in 1832. Indeed, Aristotle talked of wolves living in Egypt in his time, however, it was not until 2017 when a second modern study was done on it, and it was definitively recognized as a species. The problem is that, despite this huge range there is no idea how many African wolves there are in the wild. Obviously with this huge range, it is not unreasonable to suggest that they are locally extinct in areas – there are a number of subspecies that have been tentatively suggested, however until true assessments are made, this seems more than we need.

It should be noted, that it is not surprising that the African wolf was overlooked for so long, as it has got smaller over its time in Africa, to the extent that it is very hard to tell the difference between tha African golden wolf, and the golden jackal.

There has been little study of this species, and it is unclear exactly how much range that it has. Hopefully, this will happen in time, but it is clear that the big problem is telling the difference between golden jackals and golden wolves. 

African wolf range

There are a number of subspecies of the African wolf (quite quick, given it was not redeclared as a species 6 years ago. They are classed as a least concern. While not all sub-species have a clear estimate of the current population, genetic analysis suggests that the historic population was not smaller than 80,000 females.

  • Algerian wolf – range Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia -A dark-coloured subspecies, with a tail marked with three dusky rings. It is similar in size to the red fox
  • Senegalese wolf – Senegal – Similar to the Egyptian wolf, but smaller and more lightly built, with paler fur and a sharper muzzle.
  • Serengeti wolf – Kenya, northern Tanzania – Smaller and lighter-coloured than the northern forms. The wild population is 1500-2000
  • Egyptian wolf – Egypt, Algeria, Mali, Ethiopian Highlands, and Senegal – A large, stoutly built subspecies with proportionately short ears and presenting a very gray wolf-like phenotype, standing 40.6 cm in shoulder height and 127 cm in body length. The upper parts are yellowish-gray tinged with black, while the muzzle, the ears and the outer surfaces of the limbs are reddish-yellow. The fur around the mouth is white.
  • Somali wolf – Somalia and the coast of Ethiopia and Eritrea – A dwarf subspecies measuring only 12 inches in shoulder height, it is generally of a grayish-yellow color, mingled with only a small proportion of black. The muzzle and legs are more decidedly yellow, and the underparts are white.
  • Variegated wolf – Sudan and Somalia – A small subspecies standing 38 cm (15 in) at the shoulder, and measuring 102 cm (40 in) in length. The fur is generally pale stone-buff, with blotches of black.

We are incredibly eager to work with any guides who encounter the African wolf in their work, and list your services here. Please get in touch through the list your wild place option at the top of the page.

Red wolf

Red wolves

Red wolves have varied a bit about whether they should be classed as their own species or a subspecies of the grey wolf, however it has now been settled that they are separate for quite some time.

Size-wise it lies midway between a grey wolf and a coyote. Indeed, despite its serious danger of extinction, it is often missing from the endangered list. It has at various times been suggested to be a cross between the wolf and the coyote, or been a subspecies of the wolf.

It has been listed as critically endangered since 1996 by the IUCN, yet the same species is not listed in the CITES appendices of endangered species.

If or when we write any articles on this subject, they will appear below

To return to the canine family, click here

Algonquin wolf

Algonquin Wolf

This wolf was formerly called the Eastern Timber wolf, and was considered a subspecies of the grey wolf. There are only around 500 of this species that live in the wild. They are classified as vulnerable, presumably as there was never a large population of these wolves in the wild. They are thought to have split from grey wolves 67,000 years ago (for reference, this is more than twice the minimum distance back to when red and grey wolves split).

Found in the area of the great lakes and eastern Canada.

At the point at which it was decided that this wolf is a separate species, it already has a relatively low population, though it is considered to be mid-way between secure and extinct.

Any articles that we write in the future will appear below. We hope in the future to link to people who can help you see them in the wild, this will lie below the news. Do get in touch if you live or work in the area, we are really keen to connect you with those people visiting the area, so that they can see this newly split species and to bring you income from this species on your doorstep.

Both of the below videos are from Algonquin park, the first is a natural howl of a wolf in the stillness of the morning, while the second, is a howl prompted by a human howling into the wilderness – while this should not be done too often, as it can make the wolves nervous (they howl to spread themselves out, so hearing howls can make them think that they have to fight – though howling in North America is far more common, likely as a result of centuries of persecution in Europe.

As we make links in the field to see this species, they will appear below the  videos and the list of articles.

Short-eared Dog

The short-eared dog (Atelocynus microtis), also known as the short-eared zorro or small-eared dog,  is a unique and shy canid species endemic to the Amazonian basin. It is the only species assigned to the genus Atelocynus.

short-ear fox, blue-eyed fox, savannah fox and black fox are all other names that it is known by, often from Portuguese or Spanish.

Two subspecies are recognized.

They are found throughout much of the Amazon, and seems to prefer areas with little human disturbance.

Its diet consists of fish insects and small mammals.

Feral dogs are one of the biggest threats, both through direct attacks, but also for the illnesses that they carry. It is not currently threatened.

Ruppell’s fox

Rüppell’s fox (Vulpes rueppellii), also called Rüppell’s sand fox, is a species living in desert and semi-desert regions of North Africa, the Middle East, and southwestern Asia. It has been assessed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List since 2008.[2] It is named after the German naturalist Eduard Rüppell.

This fox is a close relation of the Red fox (this is something that can be suspected, looking at the animal.

It is found throughout all of North Africa, and the middle east, and stretches into Iraq and Iran, alongside Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is not known, but it is suspected to be one of a relatively few number of mammals benefitting from climate change, as it is causing the worlds deserts to grow, which expands areas that this fox can out-compete the red fox.

There is some debate as to how many of these subspecies are valid, but currently 5 are recognized.

Arctic fox

Arctic fox

The Arctic fox is a white fox which lives throughout the Arctic region, and is common throughout the Arctic biome. Other names include white fox, polar fox or snow fox.

It is a similar size to other foxes, although generally more rounded, so as to loose as little weight as possible.

The Arctic fox preys on many small creatures such as lemmings, voles, ringed seal pups, fish, waterfowl, and seabirds. It also eats carrion, berries, seaweed, and insects and other small invertebrates.

Natural predators of the Arctic fox are golden eagles, Arctic wolves, polar bears, wolverines, red foxes, and grizzly bears. Having said this, they are also keen scavengers and seem to get alarmingly close to these animals on relatively regular occasions. in places where they occur, rodents such as lemmings can form a large part of an arctic fox families diet. In areas where their range overlaps with red foxes, they often build bigger dens with more exits, so as to be able to escape. One of the issues with reduced snow cover, is the fact that red foxes can seize range formerly used by Arctic foxes.

During much of the year, there is as much as a 90-100 degree difference between the internal temperature of the fox and the air temperature. When inactive, they will curl up into a ball, tucking in all extremities to preserve heat as much as possible.

Primarily monogamous, a pair of arctic foxes are required in order to raise their cubs. In areas where predation is higher, arctic foxes change their behaviour. Here they are often far more promiscuous, possibly so that there are more adults who think the young is theirs and therefore more help for protection, should one of the true parents get killed.

They are the only fox with fur on their feet, so as to avoid even more heat loss. It appears to have originated out of foxes from the Tibetan Plateau.

There are 4 recognized subspecies (beyond the common one)


    • Bering Islands Arctic fox, V. l. beringensis

    • Greenland Arctic fox, V. l. foragoapusis

    • Iceland Arctic fox, V. l. fuliginosus

    • Pribilof Islands Arctic fox, V. l. pribilofensis

Domestic dog


Domestic dogs can look quite like wolves, though they can also look incredibly different.

The domestic dog, like the domestic cat is still very similar to the wild wolf in terms of genetics. It is true that our choices have meant that there is a huge range of domestic dog breeds.

So how has the domestic dog changed? Well the domestic dog has been bred to be easier to control, and this almost always comes with a reduction in intelligence. Having said that, wolves are incredibly intelligent, which means that even with less brains domestic dogs are capable of incredible featss of thinking.

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