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Big-Headed Mole Rat!

Trade these two predator/prey cards together: Yesterday’s Ethiopian Wolf and Today’s Endangered All-Star, the Big-Headed Mole Rat. Evolving together in the high-alpine meadows of Ethiopia’s Bale Mountains, wolf and rodent serve each others’ purposes, with the Mole Rat providing the preferred meal of the wolf and keeping the rolling grasslands open through its digging behavior. This Mole Rat, unlike its more famous Naked cousin, spends much of its life above ground, grazing on grasses near the mouth of its tunnel, leaping for shelter when the Wolf gets too close. The Wolf, in turn, waits patiently, biding its time until the Rat reappears. Unfortunately, the carving up of Ethiopia’s hillsides has brought peril to both species, leaving some of the last concentrations of Wolf and Mole Rat high in the Bale Mountains National Park, the largest remaining alpine habitat on the continent but subject to human incursion. You can help conservationists protect the last strongholds of these endemic species at Wildlife Conservation Network or at the related Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme. Learn more here about how scientists at the Frankfurt Zoological Society are working to improve management of the Bale Mountains ecosystem.
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