Snap wild dogs, cheetahs, EWT asks public

2014-09-25 13:03
African Wild Dog. (Photo: EWT)

African Wild Dog. (Photo: EWT)

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Cape Town – The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and SA National Parks (SANParks) are calling on the public to help rangers count cheetahs and wild dogs in the Kruger Park.

“Wild dogs and cheetahs are the two most endangered carnivores in South Africa…and the public is always very keen to help, we usually receive several hundred entries,” EWT carnivore conservation programme manager, Kelly Marnewick, told News24.

According to a EWT media release it is important to monitor and understand the populations of both species to ensure that their conservation status is maintained or improved.

To best assist the project the SANParks Honorary Rangers have asked the public to submit pictures of the animals’ unique coat patterns.

When asked what kind of pictures would be most useful Marnewick said: “we ideally want side-on pictures showing the whole side of the animal as each cheetah and wild dog can be identified by their coat patterns – it is as unique as a human face”.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified the African Wild Dog as endangered and notes that the population is decreasing. The Cheetah is vulnerable, also with a decreasing population trend.

There are 450 wild dogs left in the country with 151 protected within the boundaries of the Kruger National Park. Less than 1 000 cheetahs remain in the country with 412 being identified in Kruger in the last survey.

According to an earlier News24 report wild dogs face ongoing threats which include habitat loss, intolerant landowners and the public who kill them, bush meat snares, and road kills.

Photographs obtained from the survey will be used to identify individual cheetahs and wild dogs and thus provide a population estimate.

(EWTcensus, Facebook)

To participate in the survey, interested people need to submit photographs or videos of any Cheetahs or African Wild Dogs spotted in the Kruger National Park during 24 September 2014 to 24 June 2015 to one of the following:

Twitter: @EWTcensus

One entry method per entry is permitted e.g. either email or Facebook for a particular sighting.

See the EWT website for
more info.

- Follow Dane on Twitter 

Read more on:    ewt  |  sanparks  |  kruger national park  |  conservation  |  animals

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