African Wild Dogs roam the savannahs and lightly wooded areas of Africa and are considered to be among the continent’s most endangered species.
The African Wild Dog can trace its ancestry back some 40 million years. They have a unique evolutionary line and are one of the rarest species on the African continent.
They once ranged through 39 countries with a population of more than 500,000 individuals that thrived through the turn of the twentieth century. Today, their numbers are less than 7,000 and their population is quite fragmented.
Their shrinking world has been impacted primarily by human interference, including poaching, road kills, the spread of domestic dog disease and habitat fragmentation. These threats present the greatest challenge to the survival of African Wild Dog.
Best known for their famously large, round ears and multi-coloured coat, African Wild Dogs are very social and have a rich, cooperative pack life led by a dominant pair.
They are one of Africa’s most successful predators; hunting in large packs that pursue their prey in a long, open chases. These chases may occur at great speeds of up to 66kph for up to 60 minutes and stretch over great distances. Nearly 80% of all wild dog hunts end in a kill. In comparison, the success rate of lions, often viewed as ultimate predators, is only 30%.