The Wolf Intelligencer


African Golden Wolf (Canis anthus)

African Golden Wolf (Canis anthus)- (Cuvier 1820)
Algerian Wolf (Canis anthus algirensis) – (Wagner 1841)
Senegalese Wolf (Canis anthus anthus) – (Cuvier 1820)
Serengeti Wolf (Canis anthus bea)- (Heller 1814)
Egyptian Wolf (Canis anthus lupaster)- (Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1833) (Canis lupus lupaster)
Variegated Wolf (Canis anthus soudanicus) – (Thomas, 1903)


Common Names: Golden Wolf, African wolf, thoa

“The African golden wolf was only recently designated as a species in its own right, after decades of being conflated with the golden jackal.
The patchy taxonomic record means little is known about the species, including its behavior, range and population, leaving researchers without a baseline for determining its conservation status. But pioneering work in Morocco by Liz Campbell, a researcher at the University of Oxford, is starting to paint a picture of this enigmatic species, seen by local shepherds as a major threat to their livestock.
Campbell’s surveys and interviews show that this fear appears to be overblown, with far more sheep dying from cold weather or disease than predator attack, and half of the witnessed attacks carried out by feral wild dogs.”

Howling in the dark: Shining a light on a newly remembered wolf
by John Wendle on 10 September 2020

Overall population: unknown

Physical description:

Original range – unknown
Current range –

Golden wolves (Canis anthus) are found across North Africa, as well as in the northern Sahel regions stretching from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east and as far south as northern Tanzania. But they were erased from formal taxonomy for 80 years.

“They’re basically unknown to science,” says Liz Campbell, the founder of the Atlas Golden Wolf Project and a researcher at University of Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit.

Howling in the dark: Shining a light on a newly remembered wolf
by John Wendle on 10 September 2020

Habitat / Ecology / Prey:



Prey- Wild Boar

Unique behaviors:

Legal and Cultural Background:


Atlas Golden Wolf Project

Taxonomic/Genetic Information:


Further Reading

Journal / Scientific Publications:

Resource Partitioning of Sympatric African Wolves (Canis lupaster) and Side-Striped Jackals (Canis adustus) in an Arid Environment from West Africa. Paúl MJ, Layna JF, Monterroso P, Álvares F. Diversity. 2020 Dec

Foraging ecology of African wolves (Canis lupaster) and its implications for the conservation of Ethiopian wolves (Canis simensis). Gutema TM, Atickem A, Tsegaye D, Bekele A, Sillero-Zubiri C, Marino J, Kasso M, Venkataraman VV, Fashing PJ, Stenseth NC. Royal Society open science. 2019 Sep

Far-reaching effects of “taxonomic inertia”. The case of the ‘Canis anthus’ complex classification and conservation in Northern Africa. Gippoliti S. 2018

Noninvasive genetic assessment provides evidence of extensive gene flow and possible high movement ability in the African golden wolf. Karssene Y, Chammem M, Nowak C, de Smet K, Castro D, Eddine A, Lopes S, Muñoz-Fuentes V, Cocchiararo B, Klees D, Van Der Leer P. Mammalian Biology. 2018 Sep

Interspecific Gene Flow Shaped the Evolution of the Genus Canis. Gopalakrishnan S, Sinding MH, Ramos-Madrigal J, Niemann J, Castruita JA, Vieira FG, Carøe C, de Manuel Montero M, Kuderna L, Serres A, González-Basallote VM.  Current Biology. 2018 Nov

Melanism and coat colour polymorphism in the Egyptian Wolf Canis lupaster Hemprich & Ehrenberg (Carnivora: Canidae) from Egypt. Saleh M, Younes M, Sarhan M, Abdel-Hamid F. Zoology in the Middle East. 2018 Jul

African wolf diet, predation on livestock and conflict in the Guassa mountains of Ethiopia. Atickem A, Simeneh G, Bekele A, Mekonnen T, Sillero‐Zubiri C, Hill RA, Stenseth NC. African journal of ecology. 2017 Dec

Rediscovering a forgotten canid species. Viranta S, Atickem A, Werdelin L, Stenseth NC. BMC Zoology. 2017 Dec

Densities of spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta) and African golden wolf (Canis anthus) increase with increasing anthropogenic influence. Yirga G, Leirs H, De Iongh HH, Asmelash T, Gebrehiwot K, Vos M, Bauer H.  Mammalian Biology. 2017

Diet composition of a newly recognized canid species, the African golden wolf (Canis anthus), in northern Algeria. Eddine A, Mostefai N, De Smet K, Klees D, Ansorge H, Karssene Y, Nowak C, van der Leer P.  InAnnales Zoologici Fennici 2017 Nov

The analysis of the canid mitochondrial genome studied in Morocco shows that it is neither wolf (Canis lupus) nor Eurasian jackal (Canis aureus). Moliner VU, Donat-Torres MP, Castillo CA, Monroy-Vilchis O, Idrissi HR. PeerJ PrePrints; 2016 Feb

Genome-wide evidence reveals that African and Eurasian golden jackals are distinct species. Koepfli KP, Pollinger J, Godinho R, Robinson J, Lea A, Hendricks S, Schweizer RM, Thalmann O, Silva P, Fan Z, Yurchenko AA.  Current Biology. 2015 Aug

Canis anthus. con la Naturaleza RE. 2015 Aug

Reviving the African wolf Canis lupus lupaster in North and West Africa: a mitochondrial lineage ranging more than 6,000 km wide. Gaubert P, Bloch C, Benyacoub S, Abdelhamid A, Pagani P, Djagoun CA, Couloux A, Dufour S. PLoS one. 2012 Aug

The cryptic African wolf: Canis aureus lupaster is not a golden jackal and is not endemic to Egypt. Rueness EK, Asmyhr MG, Sillero-Zubiri C, Macdonald DW, Bekele A, Atickem A, Stenseth NC. PloS one. 2011

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