African Wild Dog

African Wild Dog

African wild dogs inhabit forests, savannas, shrublands, grasslands, and even deserts with abundant prey, permanent water sources, and a low concentration of lions and hyenas.

African wild dogs occupy a range of habitats including forest, savanna, shrubland, grassland, and even desert. They prefer habitats with abundant prey, a permanent water source, and a low concentration of lions (Panthera leo) and spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta).

While early studies in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, led to a belief that African wild dogs were primarily an open plains species and resided in short-grass plains and bushy savannas, more recent data indicate that they reach their highest densities in thicker bush, such as in the Selous Game Reserve of Tanzania, Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe, and northern Botswana.

Several relict populations occupy dense upland forest and open woodlands, such as in the Harenna Forest in Ethiopia, but not in lowland forest or jungle areas.

African wild dogs have also been recorded in desert, although most desert populations are now extirpated. Their habitat includes semi-desert to mountainous areas south of the Sahara Desert in Africa.

It appears that the African wild dog’s current distribution is limited primarily by human activities and the availability of prey, rather than by the loss of a specific habitat type.

Image | © Michael Jansen, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Sources | (Animal Corner, 2019; Canadian Museum of Nature, 2016; Malcolm & Sillero-Zubiri, 2001; Mulheisen, Allen, Allen, 2002; Nowak, 1999; Wildlife Africa CC, 2004; Woodroffe & Sillero-Zubiri, 2012)

Learn More About the African Wild Dog


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