We were extremely fortunate during our giraffe survey this past week to see a small pack of African wild dogs (also known as painted dogs) in Tarangire National Park. These stunning animals have boldly blotched white, black, and tan fur, with each individual having its own unique pattern.
African wild dogs are highly social and live in packs, sometimes with dozens of animals, but generally only one dominant male and female will breed and all pack members help to raise the pups. Interestingly, males remain in the packs into which they were born, while females disperse.
In 5 years of working in and around Tarangire National Park, this is only our second sighting of these beautiful canids. Our joy at seeing them was tempered by the fact that they are highly endangered. Threats include disease and habitat loss and fragmentation as well as persecution after livestock kills, vehicle strikes, and accidental capture in poachers’ snares. According to A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Tanzania, in 2007 only about 1,800 wild dogs could be found in Tanzania. This was 20% of the global population, making Tanzania extremely important for the conservation of the species. They feed primarily upon medium-sized ungulates like gazelles and impalas, so Wild Nature Institute’s work to study and conserve ungulates is directly benefiting wild dogs and other predators.
Science News and Updates From the Field from Wild Nature Institute.
If You Love Us,
Make A Donation!
All Photos on This Blog are Available as Frame-worthy Prints to Thank Our Generous Donors.
Email Us for Details of this Offer.