Waterberg Wild Dogs Conservation Project
Through the South Africa’s Endangered Wildlife Trust, Africa Tailormade support the Waterberg Wild Dogs Conservation Project.
African ‘Painted’ Wild Dogs, also known as the Painted Wolf & Cape Hunting Dog, are endangered mostly due to ongoing habitat fragmentation, conflict with human activities and infectious disease. The estimated decline in African Wild Dog population size can be uncertain due to the species’ tendency to population fluctuations. However, what is certain is that African Wild Dogs are the second most endangered carnivore in Africa after the Ethiopian Wolf. In South Africa, we have fewer than 550 roaming our wild spaces and only 39 distinct sub-populations left in Africa. African Wild Dogs need large areas to support themselves and for populations to be genetically diverse and sustainable.
The major reasons why African Wild Dogs are so endangered are reasonably well understood. These include extreme sensitivity to habitat fragmentation as a consequence of wide-ranging behavior, conflict with livestock and game farmers, accidental killings by snares and road accidents, and infectious disease. All of these causes are associated with human encroachment on African Wild Dog habitat. This is unlikely to be reversible across the majority of this endangered species’ historical range.
How do we help protect
endangered African Wild Dogs?
The ideal conservation strategy to protect any endangered species, is to leave nature to its own devices and give wild animals enough space and suitable habitat to thrive. Countless species have been wiped out by humankind over the years by persecution, disease outbreaks and land fragmentation. With our wild areas shrinking and the human population burgeoning, the situation is only worsening for endangered African Wild Dogs and many other wildlife species.
What we need is to not only understand African Wild Dog behavior and address misconceptions about them, but also to look at establishing new, protected areas that can hold these animals sustainability.
Waterberg Wild Dogs
The Waterberg Wild Dogs Conservation Project is driven and designed to protect the Waterberg Wild Dogs, landowners in the area, and the local game and environment. The project strives to promote and protect these Painted Wolves of the Waterberg, as they are affectionately referred to, and to negotiate safe passage with local landowners to ensure that they can remain free-roaming (as no other pack in South Africa has this privilege) as well as to promote local ecotourism in the area. Through this initiative, the team strives to change the perception of these magical and mysterious animals and show that this model can be implemented to boost the local economy, grow tourism, create jobs and most importantly conserve and grow the African Wild Dogs population