KNP tourists to help monitor wild dogs

2014-01-13 13:52

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Cape Town – The Endangered Wildlife Trust is set to launch the "Packs of Kruger" project to monitor the declining African wild dog (also known as painted dog) population in the Kruger National Park.

“We ask tourists to give us their photographs and then we count how many dogs there are in the park from those photos,” Kelly Marnewick, head of carnivore conservation for EWT, told News24.

“We get hundreds of photographs in like that and each wild dog looks different because they have different patterns on their coat so we can identify specific animals,” she said.

The KNP wild dog population has been declining and the last survey recorded a total of 130 dogs in the park.

According to Marnewick the numbers are concerning because of the KNP’s large area (2 million hectares).

Wild dogs require large areas and often leave the confines of the park where they are confronted with intolerant landowners and the public who kill them. The other major factor is road kills.

The survey will form part of a long term monitoring project which aims to determine population numbers, pack size and composition, breeding, and mortality factors.

The IUCN has listed the African wild dog as endangered and South Africa has a population numbering approximately 450.

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Read more on:    iucn  |  ewt  |  johannesburg  |  conservation  |  animals

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