African Wild Dogs

02.07.2014 | According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) the African wild dog is one of the world’s most endangered mammals. And it is one of the species Wildlife ACT focuses on in their monitoring efforts. Before my volunteering time I haven’t known anything about wild dogs but with Wildlife ACT I learned a bit about these animals that are scientifically called Lycaon Pictus.

During my volunteering time the wild dog pack in the Mkhuze Game Reserve consisted of 17 individuals. Eleven of them were yearlings that were born about one year ago. The whole pack lived in two groups, organised around the alpha and beta females’ den sites and their new-born pups. See our monitor Cole’s beautiful blog post for more details.

We tracked the radio-collared wild dog adults on a daily basis to recognise how they were doing. This is important to learn more about their behaviour and habits and because snaring is happening. Read more in Kevin Emslie’s post about the 5 reasons why Wildlife ACT collars and monitors wild dogs.

The adults and yearlings of the wild dog pack in Mkhuze were doing the hunting (e.g. Nyala) in early morning time and brought food back to the females and pups in their dens to feed them. Wild dog pups leave their dens after three months. So it was too early for us to catch a glimpse of them but we sometimes heard them when they were fed. We haven’t seen the yearlings or adult ones very often either but one day they crossed the road very close to our car – and I, of course, had my camera ready.

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