THE SECOND MOST ENDANGERED CARNIVORE IN AFRICA …
Painted Dogs are the second most endangered carnivore in Africa. In the 1900’s, more than 500,000 dogs roamed Africa across 39 countries. Today, less than 5,000 Painted Dogs remain in just a few countries.
Painted Dogs live in a pack led by a lead (alpha) female and male. Although there is a hierarchy, there is only a bit of aggression between the pack members. In fact, bonds between pack individuals are so strong that the fittest pack members will hunt and provide food for the sick and elderly. Painted Dogs rely on cooperation to survive. Cooperation enables them to be one of the most successful predators in the world. On average they can catch their prey 80% of the time. These dogs are cursorial hunters meaning they pursue their prey in a long, open chase. They are cunning and stealthy hunters but rely on their incredible vision to locate prey such as wildebeest, impala or zebra. During the hunt dogs will communicate with each other using high pitched yapping calls.
The YWP Painted Dog reserve is home to sisters Nandi & Thabo and the alpha male Nafari and the seven pups that were born in 2016. The reserve has been created to mirror their environment in the wild. Painted Dogs are found in savannah grasslands and woodlands and love playing in waterholes. The reserve has a variety of habitats for them to explore and although they have a house to sleep in they are allowed to dig their own dens and have caves to shelter in.
ONLY MAN COULD HOPE TO PREVENT THEIR EXTINCTION
Affected by: Habitat Fragmentation, Human Conflict, & Domestic Animal Diseases
The main threat to to painted dogs is habitat fragmentation which increases their contact with people and domestic animals. This results in conflict with humans and the transmission of domestic dog disesases to painted dogs.
WHAT WE’RE DOING!
PAINTED DOG CONSERVATION (PDC)
One of their last strongholds is in Zimbabwe and this is where PDC are based. PDC works with the local communities to make sure they and the painted dogs that live alongside them, have a viable and sustainable future. Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation supports the PDC vaccine programme to protect the domestic dogs from diseases like canine distemper which is spread to and kills painted dogs. PDC also run anti-poaching and anti-snare patrols which help protect the painted dogs and other wildlife.
Several trips have been undertaken over the past few years, supported by TV Presenter and vet Steve Leonard. YWPF also supports work by the Painted Dog Research Trust who are based in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
FAUNA & FLORA INTERNATIONAL
Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation also support Fauna & Flora International, a charity committed to conserve threatened species and ecosystems worldwide. The support of Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation over the past 12 months has assisted in making some very promising headway in the wildlife protection efforts of Chuilexi Conservancy, ensuring it becomes a safer haven for wild dog, lion and other wildlife.
WILDLIFE VETS INTERNATIONAL (WVI)
Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation (YWPF) work alongside Wildlife Vets International (WVI), funding projects with an aim to halt the population decline of these amazing animals. WVI frequently work in Zimbabwe vaccinating domestic dogs to protect Painted Dogs from deadly diseases that have been decimating populations in Zimbabwe.
SALE OF SNARE ART
YWPF also sell snare art and donate the proceeds to support the development of the Ecology and Conservation Centre at Sizinda, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.