Our Neighborhood's Biodiversity Map

* Please click the continent to see the endangered species of our neighborhood.
African wild dog (Lycaon pictus pictus) * To See the original image, please click the image
Shared by : Brian Waswala (Kenya), Barbara Glover (Tanzania)
Region : Sub-Saharan Africa
Status : Endangered
There are less than 450 painted dogs left in South Africa. The Wild Dog is one of Africa's most endangered mammal species and are mostly killed by farmers for attacking livestock in human/wildlife conflicts. Their numbers are so low that they are hardly sighted now and Limpopo is one of the last remaining provinces in South Africa that still has free roaming Wild Dogs. In March, 3 of the only 450 wild dogs Lycaon pictus left in our country were run over by a vehicle and one was shot also on the Beauty gravel road between Vaalwater and Ellisras. This saddens conservation efforts as negative attitudes to them are still high.

The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) also known as also called Cape hunting dogs or painted dogs are native to Sub-Saharan Africa. They are called painted dogs because of their irregular, mottled coat, which features patches of red, black, brown, white, and yellow fur. Wild dogs stand a 75 - 110 cm (29.5 - 43 in) and weigh about 18 - 36 kg (39.5 - 79 lbs). They have been known to live up to 11 years in the wild. Community Structure Wild dogs live in social packs that are usually dominated by a monogamous breeding pair. The female has a litter of 2 to 20 pups, which are cared for by the entire pack. They have been known to share food and to assist weak or ill members. Hunting the dogs usually hunt at least once a day and are capable of pursuing their prey in a prolonged, open chase that fatigues the prey. Wild dogs can run at speeds of around 35mph for 3 miles or more and have a highly successful kill rate of approximately 80%.

They prey comprises of medium-sized antelope mainly impala, kudu, Thomson's gazelle, springbok, and wildebeest, with opportunistic hunts comprising of hares, lizards and even eggs. They have been recorded to hunt also small antelope, such as dik-dik, steenbok, duiker and warthogs. Range African wild dogs were formerly present throughout sub-Saharan Africa, from deserts to mountain summits. They now are are virtually eradicated from North and West Africa, and greatly reduced in Central Africa and North-east Africa. They can be found southern and eastern Africa. Wild dogs require extensive home ranges within woodlands, savannah, shrub lands and grassland ecosystems, as these ecosystems are able to support them. However, they are now restricted to fragment populations mainly in southern and eastern Africa.

According to IUCN, the African hunting dogs are endangered, due to human encroachment into their home ranges direct persecution from humans diseases (Rabies, Distemper, Parvo virus, Adenovirus or Infections Hepatitis, Coronavirus, Herpes virus, etc.) and road carnage (injured or killed by road traffic). Ecological roles Wild dogs play an essential role in the ecosystem. They aid in maintaining prey diversity since they cull sick or injured grazing animals. They also create competition with other carnivores making sure the best predators survive.

Conservation efforts
The Endangered Wildlife Trust and the Save the African Wild Dogs Organizations are all contributing to saving these animals. You can support their activities here:

Reference :
IUCN Redlist : http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/12436/0
Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_wild_dog


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