wild dog yearlings

FIELD REPORT 2006

 
Wild dogs face the threat of extinction due largely to people. The AWD Conservancy is working with communities in one of the most bioculturally rich regions on earth to find ways for wild dogs and people to live together and mutually benefit.
Biodiversity hotspots
 
Kenya map
Biodiversity Hotspots
Study Area
Conserving Africa's Wild Dogs

Word about the project is spreading, and that’s something in this remote region! Over 100 sightings of wild dogs have been reported, including dogs running on the beach, swimming to islands, and curiously chasing crabs! Our thanks to Kiwayu Safari Village for sharing this remarkable picture with us. With the threat of increasing development, concerns loom large for this unique coastal ecosystem and its wildlife.

The AWD Conservancy is presenting new information on wild dogs in the Biodiversity Hotspot convergence zone that will be used for wild dog conservation planning. We will be participating in a regional workshop sponsored by the IUCN Canid Specialist Group and the Wildlife Conservation Society. This is part of a larger continent-wide planning effort to help save wild dogs.

 
wild dogs in Indian Ocean
wild dogs
Photo courtesy of Kiwayu Safari Village
The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and community leaders were visiting the proposed Ishaq Bini Community Conservancy along the Tana River when 11 wild dogs bolted and took off. KWS Surveyor General, Mr. Sipul, quickly grabbed his digital camera and began snapping away. Needless to say, our first study pack has now been christened the Ishaq Bini Pack, and soon we will have more pictures for our family photo album. Because we can identify individuals by their unique coat patterns, photos help us get a better idea of how many wild dogs live in the  Biodiversity Hotspot convergence zone.
Community Attitudes and Support
Interviews continue so we can learn more about what villagers think about wild dogs, other large carnivores, and the environment. Many thanks to over 150 villagers that have participated in the survey so far. A report was given to the Kenya Wildlife Service, WomanKind Kenya, and community representatives. Learn more about what villagers had to say.
social assessment survey
KWS headquarters, Masalani
We are pleased to report that the AWD Conservancy community project has the support of the Ijara District Commissioner and Head of the Community Development Fund, key leaders in the area.

WomanKind Kenya

Our partner, Womankind Kenya (Wokike), is the most respected and effective NGO in the region. In meetings with Executive Director Sophia Abdi and Program Director Hubbie Hussein, we provided contacts and information on ecologically sustainable development and information technology. Wokike believes that having access to the world can motivate people to help improve their own lives by stimulating new ideas and action. To help facilitate this, we gave them an exciting nonprofit contact that sets up affordable wireless Internet in remote villages, resources about an innovative rural community called "Gaviotas" in Columbia, developing affordable ecologically-minded technology, and doable rain-harvesting technology with contacts in Kenya and abroad. We toured Wokike’s home offices in Garissa and Masalani, and met staff members and community elders. We visited their school for destitute and orphaned girls that also provides a safe haven for children escaping female genital mutilation. Learn more about Wokike and how you can help.
Wokike headquarters, Garissa
Wokike assisting villagers with food
Floods in the Region

Villagers watched the clouds build in the sky, but this time they warned it would be a deluge. The short rains had come early. It was already green and pans were full. Nomads were seen setting up makeshift camps near small waterholes, even near large potholes in the dirt track. As we interviewed Pokomo villagers along the Tana River, rain began to fall again; we jumped into the vehicle and made our way out. It was clearly time to leave the study site or risk being stranded for months.

man collecting water
Not to be deterred, project field assistant, Hussein Dahir, returned to his home area to see family and friends, and continue interviewing villagers. A week later, the deluge began for real and a dam burst on the Tana River. Tragically, lives, livestock, and homes were lost. Tracks on the east bank were impassable. Hussein took two and a half hours to cross the river, a trip that would normally have taken 15 minutes. From there, he found transport to his second home in the town of Garissa. We are relieved to hear that he is safely back, but very concerned for plight of the villagers. Wokike is now delivering relief food and helping villagers wherever they can.
floods in Garissa
Meet Staff Member, Hussein Dahir
Hussein Dahir,  Field Project Assistant
Hussein was hired as the project field assistant and collaborator in the social sciences. Born and raised in the region, he speaks three languages, Somali, Swahili, and English, and has a fantastic sense of humor, something much needed when doing wild dog work in an area with little infrastructure! With a two-year degree in sociology, Hussein is continuing the attitude survey work. He is also helping villagers understand the importance of the project, while building a network of people to report wild dog sightings, wildlife poaching, and livestock losses attributed to predators. Meanwhile the Conservancy is continuing its search for a second local staff member, this time in the natural sciences, to collect biological information on wild dogs.
In Memory of Yasin Duale
We are deeply saddened to report that Yasin Duale, the founder of our fledging partner community-based organization (CBO), unexpectedly died. A visionary who deeply cared about his community, and its flora and fauna, he will be greatly missed. His efforts to conserve endangered species and to help communities benefit from their natural heritage, however, will not be lost. Wokike is keeping the momentum going. With their mandated commitment to halting environmental degradation to help improve the livelihoods of women and communities, Wokike is forming a local environmental conservation CBO under their umbrella. Wokike, with its 18 years of experience and recognition of the importance of wildlife conservation, wants to ensure long-term sustainability and oversight. They dedicate their efforts to the memory of Yasin.
Yasin Duale

Your Help Is Needed

Please consider supporting the African Wild Dog Conservancy in its efforts to save one of the world’s most endangered carnivores. Whether a gift in the name of someone you care about or for yourself, your support really can make a difference. Thank you. Find out how you can help.
Help Save African Wild Dogs without Spending a Penny!
How many times a day do you search on the Internet? Well, if you use the search engine, GoodSearch.com (powered by Yahoo), you can help the African Wild Dog Conservancy conserve this endangered species. Just go to www.GoodSearch.com and type "African Wild Dog Conservancy" under "Who do you GoodSearch for?" After that, you can use the search box above or just download the GoodSearch toolbar here. For every Internet search you make, one penny will go to the conservancy. Please help us spread the word. Too few people know about the plight of the African wild dog. Your cyber pennies can make a difference!

The African Wild Dog Conservancy, started in 2001, is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to working with local communities, and national and international stakeholders, to conserve wild dogs through scientific research and education.

African Wild Dog Conservancy
P.O. Box 30692
Tucson, AZ 85751 USA

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