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African Wild Dog

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100ponder
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Re: African Wild Dog

Unread postby 100ponder » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:37 pm

The small numbers mentioned seem to be "worst case scenario".

Tracking numbers seem suspect as the above contributions strongly suggest tourist reports as most reliable but what about all the vast wilderness areas where tourists never go ? Surely there must be some dogs there ?

Also, wild dog seem fairly general north of our borders, if we have a problem locally, will it not be an idea to translocate some fresh blood from Botswana/Namibia ?

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Re: African Wild Dog

Unread postby Richprins » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:37 pm

More info on the Photo project:






Where Wild Dogs roam
Unique study aims to save the Endangered African Wild Dog by understanding where they wander



ONCE considered vermin, colonial governments ordered widespread eradication of the African Wild Dog. Today, Wild Dog numbers are still on the decrease in some regions due to loss of habitat and prey, as well as direct persecution by livestock and game farmers.

The Wild Dog is Africa’s rarest large carnivore, after the Critically Endangered Ethiopian Wolf. Classified as Endangered on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species, the only viable contiguous population of Wild Dogs in South Africa can be found in the Kruger National Park (KNP). Census results reveal that even here, numbers have decreased, from 434 in 1995 to about 140 in 2009.

In recent years, their numbers may have stabilized around the relatively small amount of Wild Dogs now present.“ The small size of the population exposes them to more risk,” says Dr Sam Ferreira, SANParks Large Mammal Ecologist. “If for example”, he adds, “a disease breaks out in the Kruger population, there are not enough animals to serve as a buffer and allow immunity to develop effectively. This could lead to a dramatic decrease in numbers or even local extinction of this population”. Small populations may also carry higher risks of inbreeding.

Wild Dog packs roam over long distances, and packs within the KNP population could possibly be moving outside of the park’s borders into unprotected areas. For the first time, researchers are now focusing their attention exactly there – where the KNP’s borders stop. The purpose of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s (EWT) Kruger Western Boundary Project is to investigate if Wild Dogs and Cheetahs are moving beyond the park’s borders and if so, where are they moving and how their movements are affected by different land uses. The study also aims to gather information on human attitudes and tolerance towards these animals, and the threats these species face. The EWT is partnering with SANParks, Rhodes University, Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and a number of land owners, managers and communities to make this unique project happen.

Making it happen

The project is focusing on the movement behaviour of Wild Dogs beyond the western and southern boundaries of the KNP. Starting in 2010, the project is using questionnaires and interviews to investigate Wild Dog and Cheetah distribution, land use, threats and attitudes towards these two species. The land adjoining the park, including private nature reserves, hunting and game farms as well as lodges and crop farms, is being surveyed. This gives researchers an idea of the geographic layout, land-use practices and obstacles (such as negative attitudes and physical elements like roads) that affect the animals’ distribution or survival.

Researchers have also asked land-owners to provide them with sighting records and photographs of any Wild dogs and Cheetahs from the last 15 years. These will be analysed to identify individual animals from their unique coat and spot patterns providing information on movement and survival of animals.

Preliminary results

To date, says principal researcher, Jessica Watermeyer, a Master’s student at Rhodes University, the project has received more than 14 000 photographs of Wild dogs, and 9 000 of Cheetahs. Preliminary results show that several Wild Dog packs use substantial areas outside of the KNP in the private nature reserves along the western boundary, and one pack has a home range that does not include any areas inside the park. Wild Dogs come into conflict with humans outside the park and deaths have been reported from shooting, snaring, poisoning. They also seem to be susceptible to being killed in road traffic accidents. Watermeyer says that there has been no clear indication that snaring has a detrimental effect on Wild Dog numbers but better information on the baseline population will be necessary to really explore this.

In conclusion

The research team is hoping that those involved will acquire the knowledge to educate others in related land use practices about the threatened status of Wild Dogs and Cheetahs and the importance of their conservation. It is also hoped that the project will contribute to the development of management strategies that aim to improve human tolerance, appreciation and understanding of both species.

Ferreira adds that the project will afford the KNP a more global picture of the Wild Dogs. Wild Dogs regularly exploring areas outside the borders of the KNP may experience significantly more threats associated with humans than those spending most of the time inside KNP. The existence of the KNP population may be at risk if it cannot sustain the risks for dogs leaving the park. Alternatively, it is possible that the protection Wild Dogs experience within the park could compensate for losses outside KNP.

According to project field worker Grant Beverley from the EWT, “people must realize that their actions outside the park are affecting the population inside the protected area”.

*Grant Beverley is stationed in the lowveld. If you have any sightings information on Wild Dogs or Cheetahs, or need further information on these two species please contact him on
0832256214 or grantb@ewt.org.za

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Re: African Wild Dog

Unread postby onewithnature » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:03 pm

Thanks RP. A good refresher course on these most beautiful of canids. :thumbs_up:
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Re: wild dog advice

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:09 pm

Terry-Lee, a very warm welcome :D

I have seen Wild-dog most of my last visits.

From my experience, the south, Malelane and Croc Gates are possibly the best place to see. I have however seen close to Talamati.

I would say that southern Parks possibly has the most packs.

My most regular sightings have been close to Croc Bridge.

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Re: wild dog advice

Unread postby gabihotz » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:31 pm

hi all,

been pretty lucky with wild dog in the last 5-6 years, its all about being at the right place at the right time. maybe five years back, we heard that a pack of dogs were sighted around LS area, we travelled the H4-2 towards croc bridge, doing the mativulungu loop (S82) at least 10 times until luckily enough we found them on the main road towards croc bridge.

3 years ago, making our way out the park on the s25 towards malelane, we came across a pack (regularly seen on this road, still in 2011) it was great excitement for us at it was totally unexpected. we sat with the dogs for about 2 hours when suddenly a friend of ours sent an sms stating that we must make our way to the junction S25 and H3 as a pack of wild dog are lying on the side of the road. So for us, this is a memory we can never forget, 2 packs in one day.

Dec 2010 we found the same pack again on Timfenheni Loop.

The S1 Doispane has been very lucky for us with dogs, seen them about 5 different times over the years.

In 2009 we saw the Berg en Dal pack taking down an impala on the Matjulu Loop.

I returned from the park 2 weeks ago, we were travelling on the H2-2 from Pretoriuskop to Afsaal, the road was very quiet with not an impala in sight, when all of a sudden a round a bend, 5 wild dogs were running towards us. They were definitely on a mission, as we followed them for 10km what a sighting. (unfortunately this road has been closed until October for maintenance purposes)

So the S1, Berg en Dal area, Pretoriuskop are the places where the regular packs are sighted, but as I said, its all about the luck of the draw and entering the park without any expectations.

Wild Dog pack S1 2009

Image
Same pack April 2010 S1
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Re: wild dog advice

Unread postby Pumbaa » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:00 pm

Thanks FC :tongue:

I already wanted to reply hereto earlier but work load :shock:

The last years in row we had luck around the area in Skukuza, especially the H11 from Skukuza up to the crossing to the S1 was very rewarding, I would then recommend the S65 and the the H1-1 back to Skukuza also on this tar road we had luck and saw also a lot of magnets at the sighting boards which helped us guessing where to find them.

Last year we saw a small pack on the H12 which then rested in the beginning of the S30 - This pack has been seen there quite often.

And finally the Sweni drive (S26) near Satara was also great last year where we followed them quite a while (I guess this was the Orpen pack)

We always visited the park in February so in the deepest later summer.

Wish you luck in finding them, Terri-Lee :thumbs_up:

We spotted most of them shortly after gate opening time and one pack also very late shortly before gate closing time.

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Re: wild dog advice

Unread postby vinkie » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:10 pm

During out last visit in KNP from the 14th - 19th of July 2011 there were a lot of Wild Dog sightings near Satara.
Unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to see them.....
A lot were seen on the road from Satara to Olifants and to the South of Satara.

The pictures are of the Sightings board in Satara of the 18th of July 2011
(Yellow are the Wild Dogs but I don't have to mention it :D )

17th of July 2011
Image

18th of July 2011
Image


There is an other topic about wild dogs.....maybe handy to check this out:

http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=54779
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Loss of African wild dog...

Unread postby Wildlover » Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:13 pm

In the magazine of Africa Geographic the August 2011 copy. I got a poster which said on it that there are only 394 of south Africa's African wild dog left. Do we need to be warried about this situation of the wild dogs of SA????
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Re: Loss of African wild dog...

Unread postby Richprins » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:12 pm

Hello, Wildlover!

There has always been a worry about SA's wild dog numbers...well, ever since man invaded their ranges.

Wouldn't worry too much, as their population is rather cyclical depending on disease, predator competition etc.

And they are very nomadic and difficult to count reliably!

But yes, they seem to be at a low at the moment.

In case of emergency, there are plenty at rehab camps, breeding facilities, zoos etc, also with a good genetic spread!


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Last edited by Richprins on Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: African Wild Dog

Unread postby o-dog » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:32 am

Great discussion going on in this thread..nice reading everyones views..

If u take the figure of about 400 dogs that would be good for SA. We've seen that there are about 150 in knp..so 250 dogs will be spread amongst hluhluwe, umfolozi, tembe (think they've been introduced here), mkuze pilansberg, madique, venetia\mashatu area and where else?? No big reserves left like knp to support big numbers..also as another thread discussed, no more dogs in ages in KTP..so surely another 250 dogs in SA is quite good in some ways if you think about it?

Its also known that our farmlands have been mostly hunted out, there is very little place for wild dogs in SA. Random fact is that last naturally roaming wild dog shot in Western Cape was in Langebaan in 1905..then I think Vryberg had one of the last dogs shot out in the area in 1944.

Anyway Mozambique (in Niassa especially), northern Botswana, northern Zim and other parts of Zim, Zambia and especially Tanzania's Selous all have populations that are very healthy.

In October last year we came across 2 packs in the Mana Pools area..one pack was 25 with 6month old pups and the other pack was 10 adults..we also just missed another pack of 11 and close to the gate, the guard told me there was a pack of over 30 in the area. Also some hunting concessions had dogs present in the area..could be that the hunters are killing all the lion and leopard in the area and are thereby giving the dogs fewer enemies up there because by the looks of things the dogs are thriving in northern Zim!! My friend also just saw a nice pack close to Vic Falls in the one CC Africa lodge.

Moral of the story is that yes they are seriously endangered, but still there are lots of postives.
Mana Pools: 11th - 20th Oct
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Re: African Wild Dog

Unread postby o-dog » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:44 am

Cheetah :thumbs_up:
KendraClaire wrote:Hey guys, the figures are unfortunately close to reality. These posters were also used at an EWT event in association with St. Stithians Boys Interact Club. It may seem depressing BUT the numbers have recently gone up! There are pups in Tembe and Mkuze and Linyanti. (Botswana) My lastest news from Zim is that there is an estimate of 44 dogs and yearlings in the Hwange area. South africa is one of the only viable populations although there are also small pockets of dogs in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia (i think) Kenya and Tanzania. Cameroon recently declared their last wild dogs are dead. The future of wild dog conservation does lie here in South Africa with Krugers populations and the recent build up in populations in KZN the future seems relatively bright. :D


Thanx KC...some interesting info and sad about Cameroons dogs!!
However we need to add the Niassa population in northern Mozambique which is supposed to stand at over 400 dogs (Africa magazine 2007 issue I think). With apparently almost no lions in this area the dogs are thriving on concession land.
Not far to the north lies Selous which is supposed to have game corridors in the near future linking it to Niassa. Selous' Wild Dog population stood at 1000 dogs when KNP had 400. Perhaps they have had a decline there too but its regarded as the best stronghold for the species.
Zambia also has dogs in Liuwa Plains (which stretches into Angola), Lower Zambezi, North & South Luangwa and Im not sure but also apparently in Kafue.

All these countries land areas are nowhere as over-utilised as South Africa and there are dogs roaming outside of the parks. Like when in Zimbabwe last year there was a pack on the main highway 1 hours drive from Beit Bridge. There are hundreds of dogs in Zim without a doubt and just from packs Ive counted from what Ive seen and friends have seen between Hwange, Mana Pools, Ghonerezou area, Vic Falls we have over 150 dogs between us excluding reports from land owners. And also in a recent camera trap study, they discovered the presence of wild dog in an area of forest in Kenya which was thought to not have much wildlife.
Mana Pools: 11th - 20th Oct
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Re: Loss of African wild dog...

Unread postby KendraClaire » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:39 pm

I'm gonna throw a spanner in the works and say that maybe we should be worried. Although there have been some pups lately ( :mrgreen: ) the populations are very low. They are officially the most endangered carnivore in south africa and the second most endangered carnivore in the whole of Africa. The mortality rates for adults and pups have gone up significantly in the past few years because of human infringements. For some people it may not be a worry and +/- 400 may seem like a lot but the reality is that if they keep declining like they are we may be like Cameroon and declare our last wild dogs dead.

Just my 2 cents worth, it's up to you whether you want to listen to it or not... :w:

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Re: Loss of African wild dog...

Unread postby onewithnature » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:53 pm

Yes, I agree Kendra. I think humans make the mistake of waiting till the the last instant to save a species. Rhino were successful - we could have lost them quite easily in the early 20th century - and perhaps some people use that as a reason to suggest that we can save most of our wildlife if we want to.

I think we need to worry, and worry big!

Rather put strong processes in place to prevent their decline than try to rescue them ONCE they are on the brink of extinction! The problem also of waiting till animals decline to low population levels is that the genetic pool decreases significantly - and too much inbreeding largely countermands the ability to rescue the species. Although cheetah underwent a natural compromise to their genetic integrity many centuries ago, we are still struggling to increase the populations because the gene pool is not diverse enough. nature didn't intend sexual intercourse as a pleasurable entity primarily for that reason - but to ensure that the genes were spread as far and wide as they could be, thereby strengthening the species. We need to learn from that.

Rhino were saved in time. I can see that several other endangered species will not be - UNLESS we catch a serious wake-up and put a full-scale drive into saving our wildlife. It;s not that there aren't people doing this - there are some amazing conservationists out there - but the problem is that we need a critical mass of people behind the projects, and most especially a full commitment from our government.

Let's keep praying and doing the right thing - and we MAY save our wildlife in time for our grandchildren to enjoy them as much as we did.
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Re: Wild Dog sightings- season?

Unread postby tletter » Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:41 am

cheetah2111 wrote:Could it be that they hanging in areas away from the roads in winter?? Or have you seen wild dogs this past winter? 8)

We followed these three guys as they walked along the H1-2 for some 10 minutes at the end of July this winter.

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Re: African Wild Dog

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:59 pm

Hi o-dog.

This is the pack 7 km from Orpen camp, April 2009.

11 dogs.

Image

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