Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wild Dog Conservation Initiative

The African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) is one of the continent’s most threatened large predators and Namibia’s free-ranging population is consistently estimated at a critically low level of between approximately 200 and 600 animals in less than 50 breeding units which mostly occur outside of formally protected areas (R. Lines, personal communication; Stander 2003; Woodroffe et al 2004). The present surviving population of wild dogs is severely fragmented and is highly unlikely to re-colonise areas that they used to inhabit by natural migration.

With these alarming figures, the importance of the captive population may become more paramount as a genetic reservoir, for research, and for reintroductions of the species.