Wild dog yearlings

Field News and Accomplishments

Wild dogs face the threat of extinction largely due to people. With your support, 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 co-exist.
Biodiversity hotspots
Kenya map
Biodiversity Hotspots
Study Area

Working to Conserve Africa’s Wild Dogs

Wild dog pack
Photo by Ali Hussein

With your help, we have completed the first baseline wild dog and social attitudes surveys ever done in Kenya’s Biodiversity Hotspot convergence zone and are now writing up the final reports. Over 200 sightings of wild dogs have been recorded and they keep coming, including a recent sighting of a pack of about 30 wild dogs (shown above)—a very large pack indeed! A pack of this size, with only adults and juveniles (no pups were seen), is really unusual. Prior to our work in this remote region, scientists were unaware that this potentially key population linking wild dogs in the Horn of Africa even existed. More survey details and discoveries to come as the study continues!

Meet Our New Community Partner

Masalani Chapter of QEC

We are very pleased to report that our community-based partner, the Qalesa Environmental Conservation Organization (QEC), is up and running. Started by local people, QEC is now an officially registered charity under the umbrella of Womankind Kenya (Wokike), the most respected and effective NGO in the region. QEC is dedicated to conserving wildlife and finding ways to minimize human/wildlife conflict, and empowering local people to develop sustainable uses of natural resources. Protecting endangered species like wild dogs is high on its agenda. In an incredibly short time, this organization already has 30 members including men and women living in Garissa, Masalani, Ijara, Hulugho, and Bodhei. In our meetings with QEC members, they identified two top priorities: educating villagers about the importance of wildlife and protecting their natural heritage from poachers. The African Wild Dog Conservancy is organizing a regional conservation education training workshop and providing educational materials on wild dogs, as well as other endangered species. We look forward to working together to conserve wildlife and promote biocultural tourism.

WomanKind Kenya Update

Our partner, Womankind Kenya (Wokike), is the most respected and effective NGO in the region. Co-founded by Sophi Abdi Noor and Hubbie Hussein, Wokike's mission is to empower women and girls, and to alleviate poverty in local com- munities. Improving livelihoods by stopping environmental degradation and promoting sustainable use of natural resources is a cornerstone of their philosophy. In keeping with their commitment to involve local communities in the conservation of resources, Wokike oversees QEC and closely works with the AWD Conservancy to help build local capacity. This hard-working NGO has been at it for 18 years, and we know we are very fortunate to be working with them!

With general elections coming in December, Wokike is intensely involved in voter education to help ensure that all voices be heard. Wokike’s school for destitute and orphaned girls is growing at a fast pace and more teachers are needed. Please help Wokike save and educate these children. Learn more about Wokike and how you can help this remarkably effective organization.

Hubbie and Sophia
Hubbie and Sophia
Schoolgirls Playing

In the News

Hussein Dahir
Hussein Dahir

Field assistant and QEC member, Hussein Dahir, will become the new field coordinator for the community wild dog project. He continues building local project support and participation while collecting field data. Shortly, Hussein will be taking on more responsibilities as the project moves into a new phase. Congratulations to Hussein!

Bob teaches GPS
Bob Teaches Use of GPS
Kim teaches map reading
Kim Teaches Map Reading

Abdi Noor, also born and raised in the area, was hired and trained by the AWD Conservancy to conduct wildlife tran-sects in the Ishaqbini Conservancy and the adjacent Tana River National Primate Reserve, Ishqbini is the first community-run wildlife sanctuary in the Biodiversity Hotspots. Abdi is walking transects, recording wildlife he sees, including wild dog prey species. This baseline information will help Ishaqbin and the AWD Conservancy monitor trends over time to monitor animal diversity and numbers.

Monitoring wild dog prey species is important because packs are more likely to prey on livestock where their natural prey has been depleted. This can lead to greater conflict with people. Plans are underway to expand the area covered in 2008 to use both road (from a vehicle) and walking transects. We would also like to congratulate Abdi who was recently sworn in as an Ishaqbini scout!

Travel Notes

Typical for the onset of the dry season, the wind blew steadily as we dropped south to Masalani. Dik diks, tiny antelopes, darted across the dirt track in front of us, and reticulated giraffes browsing on acacia leaves glanced our way. The camel caravans we frequently encountered near the town of Garissa all but disappeared. The bush was quite lush and waterholes that would dry up as the season wore on still held enough for thirsty wildlife and livestock.
Dik Dik
Reticulated giraffes
Dromedary camels
Dik Dik
Reticulated Giraffe
Dromedary Camels
Balah lodge
When we arrived at Balah—modest one-room lodgings built by Wokike and now run by local women—the sun was setting as bats roosting in the open eaves of our hut began taking flight.

Special Thanks to Aden Shaiye

Aden has been working for the wild dog project as a volunteer community liaison, while working for the Red Cross food distribution program. After completing his college degree in India, Aden returned home to help his community. Concerned about women’s health and environmental degradation, Aden is currently trying to find alternative fuel sources. Women cooking with firewood often suffer from eye problems thought be related to wood burning, and harvesting firewood is depleting resources. The conservancy provided contacts and information on solar cooking. If you can help in any way, either by providing information, contacts, or if this is your specialty (!), please contact us.

Aden Shaiye
Aden Shaiye

Your Help Is Needed

Wild dog pup
Photo by Endangered Wildlife Trust

Please consider supporting the African Wild Dog Conservancy in its efforts to save one of the world’s most endan- gered carnivores. Whether a gift in the name of someone you care about or for yourself, your support really can make a difference. Thank you. Learn more about 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 protect 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 really can make a difference!

The African Wild Dog Conservancy, started in 2001, is a fully 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