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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 bio-culturally rich regions on earth to find ways for wild dogs and people to co-exist.

Biodiversity Hotspot map
Study area
Biodiversity Hotspots
Study Area

Thanks for Making a Difference!

BA logo
Woodland Park Zoo logo
 
AAZK logo
MANY THANKS to British Airways, the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) of the Phoenix Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo, and many contributors like you for our community project's resounding success this year. Despite lingering rains and slick, muddy black-cotton soil (the type of soil you easily get bogged down in!), we have already covered much of the Tana River and Ijara Districts, recording a remarkable number of recent wild dog sightings, mapping villages, interviewing herders and families, and learning about rare, traditional local crafts. We also hired and trained a new, hard-working staff member, and expanded the wild dog and livestock losses field surveys to cover an additional 33,621 sq km!

AAZK Phoenix Zoo Auction

The AAZK and zoo supporters spearheaded this incredible all-volunteer drive. We were really moved by the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in helping endangered species conservation, including the work of the African Wild Dog Conservancy. The auction was a resounding success. If you are ever in Phoenix, we heartily recommend that you visit the zoo and be sure to see their wild dogs!
Kim and Park at Phoenix Zoo auction
Kim and Bob at auction
Some auction items
Some of the many auctioned items

Community Project Update

Large wild dog pack

Wild dogs in Kenya's Biodiversity Hotspot
convergence zone

The 2008 wild dog sightings survey is in full swing. With plans to conduct this survey each year, we will learn more about changes in distribution and trends in abundance—necessary information to monitor the conservation status of this population. So far this season we have received well over a 100 sightings from herders, women gathering firewood, community scouts, and the Kenya Wildlife Service, with most reported as recently as June and July. Interviewing people in scattered villages in this remote region continues with the goal of surveying over 44,000 sq km. Although we cannot yet determine the number of packs, we have reason to be cautiously optimistic that this largely unprotected area could be unique because a relatively healthy wild dog population may still co-exist with people! With the human population and need for land and water increasing, however, the long-term survival of wild dogs in Kenya's biodiversity hotspots is far from certain.

Working to Conserve Africa's Wild Dogs

Conflict with people is one reason wild dogs risk extinction. Research has shown that wild dogs rarely kill livestock, but losses can occur in local areas for periods of time before packs move on. Killing livestock usually happens when the wildlife species wild dogs naturally prey upon have been depleted. To find out more about human/wild dog conflict in the hotspot zone, the community project is now traveling far and wide recording livestock losses reported by villagers.

Recording livestock losses
Suprisingly, we found that many villagers suffered more livestock losses to predators in bomas (traditional livestock enclosures) than in the bush grazing. We visited many manyattas (homes) to look at bomas to see how they were built, and how predators were getting in to kill livestock. During our many discussions, we found several newly built "predator-proof" enclosures with no losses reported for several months. This set the wheels in motion with our local partners, Womankind Kenya (Wokike) and Qalesa Environmental Conservation to organize a boma workshop so villagers can discuss problems and potential solutions.
Helping to find better ways to predator-proof bomas
Discussing building better "predator-proof" bomas
 
Predators and Livestock
Although the final results are not in, so far the great news for wild dogs is that they are NOT considered a major problem in most villages when it comes to livestock losses. Unfortunately, spotted hyenas are considered a major problem. Surprisingly, in some areas caracals and cheetahs were reported to be taking more livestock, while losses due to lions and leopards were generally less common. The diversity of large predators will become increasingly threatened as the human population grows unless conflict and habitat fragmentation can be minimized.
Hyena
Caracal
Cheetah
Spotted Hyena
(Crocuta crocuta)
Caracal
(Caracal caracal)
Cheetah
(Acinonyx jubatus)
Two lions
Leopard
Wild dog

Lion
(Panthera leo)

Leopard
(Panthera pardus)
African Wild Dog
(Lycaon pictus)

Staff Profile

Hussein Haji
Hussein Haji
We are very pleased to introduce our latest community wild dog project staff member, Hussein Haji. Born and raised in the area, Hussein is a natural when it comes to people skills, and has considerable experience working in the Northeastern Province.
Hussein interviewing elder
Hussein interviewing village elder
Trained by the Conservancy in GPS and survey techniques, Hussein continues collecting information on livestock depredaton, and recording wild dog sightings in some of the most remote and challenging areas in the region. We are very fortunate to have him on board!
 

Traditional Crafts


With access to modern goods, local crafts of cultural significance are quickly vanishing.
Aden Shaiye, our volunteer community liaison, shared with us rare and uniquely crafted items used to hold milk and food, and to perform traditional rituals. To help improve economic conditions and keep cultural traditions alive, the Conservancy has volunteered to help develop an ecologically sustainable crafts market. If any of you have relevant expertise or suggestions, please contact us at lycaonpictus at earthlink.net.

Aden with traditional crafts
Aden showing crafts

Your Help Is Needed

Little Temba
Photo by Endangered Wildlife Trust

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. Learn more about how you can help.

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
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