July 22, 2011
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A male African wild dog (center) has been recorded traveling 250 miles across two countries. Photo by Wild At Tuli.
Scientists have found a male African wild dog that has undergone an epic trip. In April 2010 the male dog was photographed in Save the Valley in eastern Zimbabwe then recently the same animal was photographed in Northern Tuli Game Reserve in Botswana some 250 miles (400 kilometers) apart. This is one of the longest distances ever recorded for an African wild dog.
African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) live in all-female or all-male packs of between 5 and 20 animals, sometimes expanding as large as 60. Once dispersed male and female packs will join together. They are adept pack hunters, running prey down in long endurance chases.
The IUCN Red List classifies the African wild dog as Endangered. Only around 3,000-5,500 individuals survive from an original population that may have been half a million.
Due to a need for vast territories, the African wild dog is threatened by the expansion of human populations across Africa. Even good sized protected areas are often too small to support this species. Human-wildlife conflict, poaching, domestic dogs, and disease.
The discovery of epic journey by the African wild dog was documented by cooperation from four organizations: The Carnivore Conservation Group, The Painted Dog Project, Northern Tuli Predator Project, and Lowveld Wild Dog Project. This efforts is apart of the Range Wide Program for wild dogs and cheetahs hosted by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
More pictures of African wild dogs.
A closer look at the African wild dogs. Photo by Wild At Tuli.