edZOOcating: African Painted Dog Conservation Series
Check out how these conservation experts helped diversify painted dog genetics in a highly fragmented ecosystem
So, What’s the Problem?
The major threats that African painted dogs face all stem from human expansion into their native range. As humans move in, they bring a whole mess of challenges with them.
As human settlements and communities develop, we build roads and farms and begin to develop the land. Painted dogs have a huge native range and often live in small sub-populations far away from other packs. Historically, painted dog packs could easily travel to reach each other to ensure genetic diversity, but now their populations are fragmented and separated by development which increases inbreeding among packs and damages the health of the populations.
People in these small communities are threatened the native predators, as are their livestock. To keep predators from invading their communities or to catch bushmeat, people will put out snares, which are metal clamps anchored to a secure space that closes around the ankle of whatever steps inside of it trapping it there. Painted dogs, along with other wildlife, commonly fall victim to snares. As new communities are developed and roadways are built to move between them, more dogs are also being struck by vehicles.
It is becoming more common for painted dogs to be killed by diseases like rabies and canine distemper that is passed from unvaccinated domestic dogs. As communities form, painted dogs come into closer contact with domestic dogs and are more at risk.
Explore conservation challenges, strategies, and successes happening in ecosystems all around the world! Discover new ways conservationists are thinking outside of the box and how you and your students can make a difference.