Ethopian Wolf book cover

All photos: Ethiopian Wolf Project

The Ethiopian wolf, one of only two wolf species in Africa, is seriously endangered, with only 450 individuals left. However, hope remains among the conservationists who are doing heroic work to preserve this fascinating species for future generations. Success would not only mean survival for the Ethiopian wolf, but also a great deal learned about how to save other species threatened by things like habitat loss, disease and overgrazing.

Ethopian wolf pup

This is a review of a book about this very adventure: Photographers Will Burrard-Lucas and Rebecca R. Jackrel traveled to the highlands of Ethiopia to document the lives of the remaining Ethiopian wolves and the work the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme is doing to save the species.

Full disclosure: I personally know Jaymi Heimbuch who wrote the text portion of this book. Does that make me biased? Well, maybe. But I did my best to remain as objective as possible! I also conducted an interesting experiment: I sat down with my wife and showed her "The Ethiopian Wolf," and while she was looking at the book, I was secretly noting at her reactions.

Ethopian Wolves book spread

Her first comment was that the book looked really nice. (It does! My snapshots of the pages don't do it justice). But what really struck me is that every time she flipped a page, she would go "ooooh" and "aaaah" at the photos, or sometimes laugh at the funny ones. (There's a shot of a giant mole-rat that is particularly hilarious.)

giant mole rat

But even better: The photos are so good and so intriguing that on pretty much every page she read the descriptions to learn more, or or she discussed something that caught her attention. I think that's the real test for a book of this type. Are you not only enjoying the photos, but also seeing thought-provoking things that make you want to learn more about the topic covered? On that front, "The Ethiopian Wolf" is a great success. Effortlessly educational, in other words.

The people behind the book, Ethopian Wolf

In "The Ethiopian Wolf," there's a good balance between the Ethiopian wolves and their natural habitat, and the conservation efforts to save them. If you get the book for the pretty pictures, you'll be thrilled; and if you get it to learn more about what's being done to save the species, you won't be disappointed either.

The authors, on horseback

Above you can see the book's photographers, Rebecca R. Jackrel and Will Burrard-Lucas. Kudos to them, great work! It must not have been easy to get all these shots in such a remote corner of the world.

You can buy the book at the book website. Note that 50 percent of profits from every book sale will be donated to the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme.

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Michael Graham Richard ( @Michael_GR ) Michael writes for MNN and TreeHugger about science, space and technology and more.

'The Ethiopian Wolf': An adventure tale with a heroic goal
Two photographers traveled to the highlands of Ethiopia to document the lives of the endangered wolves and the work being done to save them.