Painted Dog Conservation, Zimbabwe
(Formerly Painted Dog Research Project)
Once you could find Painted Hunting Dogs (or The African Wild Dog as it is also known) in 39 different countries throughout Africa. Today viable populations are found only in four countries, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Botswana and South Africa. It is difficult to give an exact population figure, but it is believed that less than 5,000 Wild Dogs remain today, and of those remaining, approximately 700 are living in Zimbabwe. They are nomadic and have a huge home range covering 750 square kilometres often travelling up to 30 kms in a day.
Run by zoologist & conservationist Greg Rasmussen the Painted Dog Conservation aims at conserving and monitoring the movement of this now extremely rare and seriously threatened species. Greg and his team monitor the movement of these nomadic animals on a regular basis and record numbers of sighted packs in Zimbabwe and other African countries. Much of the work is done using photography, since each dog has a unique marking. Local people and tourists are also encouraged to report back sightings.
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Zimbabwe is the only country in Africa to see a painted dog population increase in the last ten years. With a strong commitment to community development and conservation education, our methods are working, but we rely totally on the generosity of individuals and organisations alike to continue our work. Please be generous.
Want to contact Painted Dog Conservation, Zimbabwe? Use the contact details on their site.
Greg started fitting anti-snare and retro reflective collars to vulnerable dogs to reduce the risk of being caught or hit by cars at night. These have shown to work well, but at a cost of $250 each they are expensive to produce and many more are needed. In addition to the research work undertaken, the project conducts adult awareness programmes with local farmers and ranchers, and at the same time awareness and educational programmes are being taught in local schools.
In 1997 with Tusk Trust's help, Greg Rasmussen successfully relocated a pack of eight adults and 3 pups from farmland to the safety of the Matusadonna National Park (another project supported by Tusk Trust). This was the first time a relocation had been attempted in Zimbabwe and the pack, which has now split into two is doing well. They are radio collared and are regularly monitored.
Further contributions have been made by Tusk Trust helping fund another relocation of 24 dogs to protected areas, increasing the gene pool and helping the breeding blood lines.
Gallery: Click on the images to view a larger version in a pop-up window. Most of these images were taken by Peter Blinston of the Painted Dog Conservation.