Increasing habitat fragmentation and loss, has brought African painted dogs (Lycaon pictus) into closer contact with expanding human populations across Africa. This has increased levels of human-wildlife conflict, with painted dogs being poisoned or shot by farmers for hunting their livestock. This contact has also caused a steep rise in the transmission of infectious (and often fatal) diseases between painted and domestic dogs, severely impacting painted dog populations further. Shrinking habitat also increases competition and conflict between painted dogs and other large carnivores such as lions and hyenas often resulting in dog fatalities or the displacement of packs into less suitable areas. Painted dogs are currently estimated to number just 6,600 individuals in 39 populations across Africa, however this may include just 1400 mature individuals capable of breeding.
Our partner, the George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust (GAWPT) was invited in 1989 by the government of Tanzania to establish a rehabilitation programme for the species involving capture, conservation breeding, veterinary research and reintroduction.
Since then, the programme has developed seven breeding compounds in Kisima Camp, ten years of veterinary research and vaccination campaigns, and carried out various reintroductions back into the wild in the Tsavo / Mkomazi ecosystem.
Our support for the rehabilitation programme for African wild dogs includes funds for the food supply to feed the painted dogs during the conservation breeding phase, but also to help with infrastructure improvements and repairs such as the development of new breeding compounds for example.
This project’s main priority is to re-establish viable populations of healthy and genetically diverse stock back in the wild in areas where they will have the best chance of success.