Wild Dog

Lycaon Pictus

Wild Dog

Endangered

Description

Large, long-legged dog with blotchy black, white and tan colouring.  Height at shoulder: 60-75 cm; weight: 20-30 kilos; 75-110 cm in length.  Massive jaws and very large, erect batlike ears; white tip on tail.

Lifespan

10 – 12 years

Population

Approximately 6,000 with only 1400 mature individuals

Habitat & Range

Dense forest to open plains across East, West and south-central Africa.  They need vast areas of intact habitat to support a viable population.  A single pack can range over 3,000km²; average home ranges in the region of 300-800km².

Diet

Carnivores: Wildebeest, gazelle, impala, reedbuck; occasionally zebra and kudu.

Threats

Threats include large predators such as lion and hyena, however, the biggest threat is man. Human encroachment & loss of habitat are major factors, as well as infectious diseases such as rabies.

Conservation

Protecting and expanding habitats and creating and protecting areas of connectivity between isolated habitat fragments.  Working to reduce the illegal bushmeat trade is key to reducing wild dog deaths from wire snares. In addition, community engagement and education is important.

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