Wild Dogs: Painted out of existence?
African Wild Dogs, or Painted Dogs are being threatened from continued conflict with humans. With only an estimated 7,000 remaining in the wild, this specie is considered endangered.
How Nikela Helps
Although Nikela does not have a project that directly protects Wild Dogs at this time, many awareness campaigns address the plight of Africa’s endangered and threatened wildlife species as a whole. Actually Nikela is for preserving all wild things and their wild places.
More Facts About Wild Dogs
The Painted Dogs can be found in South Africa and southern parts of East Africa. They usually reside in deserts, savannas and wooded areas.
Painted Dogs have distinguishable features such as the bat-like ears and the black, brown and white/yellow splotched coats. Newborn pups are born with black fur with white spots. These dogs only have four toes on each paw rather than five like other canines and have bushy tales with white tips. They can also reach speeds of up to 44 miles per hour.
Not only do these dogs have extremely perceptive hearing, but they also have amazing communication skills. They have an interesting range of calls for specific circumstances such as hunting, when they are separated and even when communicating with the pups. When hunting, they make high-pitched squeaking noises while also relying on ear movement to alert each other as to which direction their prey is in. If a dog becomes separated from the pack, s/he will make what is called a “hoo” call. They also can make bird-like calls and noises when communicating with each other or the pups. Unlike other canines, the Painted Dogs do not howl.
The main diet for the Painted Dogs consists of smaller game such as gazelles, warthogs, birds and occasionally Wildebeests. They will chase larger game such as Buffalo, but they rarely kill them. An adult dog can consume as much as nine pounds of food a day.
Behavior and Social Groups:
These highly social animals rely on constant interaction with each other. Their pack can be as small as a single pair or up to 40 members. Within these packs, they care for the old, the sick and the young. Each pack is lead by a male and female, their pups and others that look after the young. Interestingly enough, they are usually willing to adopt outsiders into their pack, and because of their emotional ties to one another, they are known to mourn when a member of the pack dies.
Conservation Status and Threats:
Although the Painted Dogs must deal with natural threats such as other animals, their largest predators by far are humans. Threats such as traps, vehicles, poaching and domestic illnesses are just some of the many difficulties that these dogs must face. What most humans don’t understand is that the loss of one dog can shatter an entire pack.
Contributed by Nikela Volunteer Rachel Jones
“Pack Life.” – Painted Dog Conservation. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2015.
“African Wild Dog Facts.” African Wild Dog Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2015.
“African Wild Dog.” WorldWildlife.org. World Wildlife Fund, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.
“Mammals | Painted Dog.” Painted Dog. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2015.
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