Conservation

African Wild Dog ID

  • by Nadja LeRoux August 2, 2020
African Wild Dog ID

Some exciting news from the field! We’ve been monitoring a very unique and special population of free roaming African wild dogs – we’ve identified that one of the females has returned with her pack to their traditional denning area. When the dogs become transient as the rains arrive, they move far distances and face many challenges such as conflict with humans and other larger predators such as lions. It’s always a relief to see them return and in good shape.

The female above is a high ranking female in the pack and she’s easily identified by a very tan coat pattern, and a distinct while blotch on her shoulder. Great news for a highly endangered large carnivore and protected species in Namibia.

This particular population is extremely evasive. We rely on camera traps strategically placed on identified corridors where the dogs move. The dogs are responsible for the highest conflict in this area, much more than the cheetahs and leopards. Calves left unprotected at night are easier targets than natural prey.

CCF is working with communities on the ground to support and respond to sightings, and the presence of predators and any conflicts that result. We are assisting with mitigation options, although these aren’t easy with African wild dogs because they hunt anytime, day or night. To reduce the conflict as much as possible we work on building relationships amongst community members so that they can communicate with one another and with us. We are able to share information on African wild dogs and other large carnivores in the ecology.

For the future of the African wild dog population we are studying in this region, CCF is working with all partners for long term solutions. Finding a healthy ecological balance that considers the needs of people is key to securing wildlife and their dwindling habitats.

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