Several pieces of information are needed for more effective African wild dog conservation, such as cost-effective distribution and status surveys, landscape studies, locally-appropriate means to reduce human-wildlife conflicts, and disease protection.
African wild dogs have a reluctance to water because of their vulnerability to crocodiles and can lose prey that flees to water.
African wild dogs never scavenge another animal’s prey, no matter how fresh the kill is.
African wild dogs can chase prey for several kilometers, reaching speeds up to 55 km/hr, and will disembowel and feed on their prey while it’s still alive.
The Painted Dog Conservation center partakes in African wild dog protection, rehabilitation, education, and conservation in order to preserve this endangered species.
African wild dogs tolerate scavengers at their kills, except for spotted hyaenas, which they drive off, injure, or kill.
After a gestation of 10 weeks, African wild dogs give birth to 2-20 pups from March-July in grass-lined burrows, usually abandoned aardvark holes.
African wild dog conservation strategies have been developed in all regions of Africa and focus on coexistence between people and wild dogs, sustainable land use for the dogs, public perception of the dogs, and ensuring a policy for wild dog conservation.
Because female African wild dogs usually leave their natal packs, while up to half of males stay, packs tend to average more males than females.
African wild dogs take part in cooperative breeding as each member of the pack cares for the young and all females help in nursing the pups.
Because the name “African wild dog” has negative connotations, conservationalists are attempting to rebrand the endangered canine as “painted wolf” to help with conservational efforts.
On occasion, some of the food African wild dogs get from larger kills may be cached, though they rarely return to the cached food.
Unlike most canines, African wild dogs are not territorial and do not urine mark their territories or keep exclusive home ranges.
African wild dog populations are continuing to decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation, conflict with humans, and infectious diseases that are spread by domestic animals.
African wild dogs cooperate in caring for young, wounded, and sick pack members and will regurgitate hunted food for them.
The African wild dog is known by several different common names including hunting dog, hyena dog, painted wolf, ornate wolf, and Mbwa mwilu in Swahili.
African wild dogs are generalist carnivorous predators and mostly hunt medium-sized antelope that are about twice their weight or larger, such as impala, kudu, gazelle, and wildebeest.
Each African hunting dog pack has a dominant monogamous breeding pair that prevents subordinates from breeding.
The African wild dog’s scientific name, Lycaon pictus reflects the color of its spotted pelage and translates to painted or ornate wolf.
African wild dogs are social animals that form packs of up to 40 members, with an average of 7-15.
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.
Because African wild dogs rely on their sight to hunt, they are primarily diurnal, hunting in the morning and early evening, and will only hunt at night if there’s a bright moon.
Although the African wild dog is genetically diverse, five subspecies are generally recognized but are not universally accepted.
Each African wild dog has a uniquely patterned coat of irregular reds, browns, black, yellows, and whites, different from any other dog.
African wild dogs do not generally exhibit sexual dimorphism and are about the same size as a German shepherd dog with large, rounded ears, a thin body, and long, muscular legs.
African wild dogs are cooperative hunters and hunt in packs led by the alpha male.
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African wild dogs were once found throughout most of Africa, but are now more fragmented and mainly restricted to Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and the Transvaal.
African wild dogs have unique social concerns and structures within their packs and have separate dominance hierarchies for males and females.
Because of their names, African wild dogs are often misidentified, thought to be dogs, wolves, or even hyenas, when actually categorized in their own genus.
African wild dogs are not aggressive except for occasional fights between a dominant female and a subordinate female over breeding rights.
With only 6,600 individuals left, the African wild dog is Africa’s second most endangered carnivore after the Ethiopian wolf.