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Research

The African Wild Dogs SSP cooperates with several conservation organizations. These organizations promote the welfare of African Wild Dogs, in the wild and in captivity. To learn more about the work of the individual organizations please click on the links below.

In the Wild

Painted Dog Conservation: Rehabilitation Facility

Gregory Rasmussen
Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Dept Zoology, Oxford University

The rehabilitation facility in Zimbabwe caters to African wild dogs during the critical period after serious injury, translocation from hostile regions and orphaned puppies from natural or anthropogenic events until they can be returned to their natal pack or reintroduced to a favorable environment.

Botswana Wild Dog Research Project

Dr. J.W. (Tico) McNutt
Botswana Predator Conservation Program

>>Botswana Wild Dog Research Project (PDF)
>>Map Location 2, Botswana

  • Monitoring of wild dogs in the core study area
  • Biofence project is a multi-year project designed to understand territoriality in wild dogs and what they say to each other through scent dispersal and olfactory receptors.
  • Home range – territory analysis data provides an account of the ranging behaviors of neighboring wild dog packs and a clear illustration of pack territorial boundaries.
  • People, Parks and Predator Management Project establish a relationship of communication with the farmers, game ranchers and other resource users in the areas adjacent to the core study area and in the farming areas of the northern Kalahari.
  • Home range, territoriality and conflict in marginal Wild Dog habitats identify the range and extent of predator conflict in these relatively dry habitats with longer-term goals to estimate the wild dog population in the vast marginal habitats of southern and western Botswana.

 

Conservation and Management Of The African Wild Dog Metapopulation And Its Habitat In Eastern Zambia

Kellie Leigh
African Wild Dog Conservation Eastern Zambiam

>>Conservation and Management of African Wild Dog Metapopulation and its habitat in eastern Zambia 2005-2007 (PDF)
>>Map Location 3, Zambia

Collaborate with the Zambian Wildlife Authority to secure sufficient habitat to allow natural dispersal between wild dog populations in the Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa National Parks, by formation of a wildlife corridor through existing Game Management Areas (GMA’s)

Extend the current research and education program to build community support and create a long-term wild dog conservation and monitoring program in the region.

Collaborate with the Zambian Wildlife Authority, to build capacity and ensure implementation of an on-going conservation management plan for the local wild dog populations.

Augment the size of the local population of African wild dogs through an introduction program aimed at restocking the Lower Zambezi area, based on AWDC research results

Health, Reproduction and Animal Well-being in Reintroduced African Wild Dogs

Dr. Micaela Szykman
Sponsored by Smithsonian National Park Conservation and Research Center

>>Map Location 4, South Africa

    Research Goals:

  • Conduct pre & post reintroduction fecal steroid assessments.
  • Document and evaluate current successful pack formations for future reintroductions.
  • Songasen’s research will assist the field element of this study through method development and information evaluation of the captive population.

Dynamics of Captive Pack Formation in the African Wild Dog

Dr. Kim McCreery and Dr. Robert Robbins
Sponsored by African Wild Dog Conservancy, Tuscon, AZ

>>Map Location 5, Kenya

    Research Goals:

  • Study the factors affecting aggression in the captive population. The level of aggression seen in captive packs is rarely observed in the wild.
  • Video data of interactions between newly formed packs will be collected and analyzed.

Community-based Study of the Conservation Status and Ecology of the African Wild Dog in Southeastern Kenya

Dr. Robert Robbins and Dr. Kim McCreery
Sponsored by African Wild Dog Conservancy, Tuscon, AZ

>>Map Location 5, Kenya

    Research Goals:

  • Collect census data on two endangered mammals of the region: African wild dog and the hirola
  • Train locals in field research techniques.
  • Survey resident population’s attitudes towards African wild dogs.
  • Identify the threats to the two endangered populations.
  • Assist the local governments and NGO’s with the development of a conservation program.

Samburu-Laikipia Wild Dog Project

Dr. Rosie Woodroffe
Department of Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology, University of California-Davis

This project is concerned with the sustainable coexistence of African wild dogs with local people and their domestic animals, in Samburu and Laikipia Districts, Kenya.

    The project currently has three key objectives:

  1. To develop sustainable methods to protect wild dogs from infectious disease
  2. To encourage tolerance for wild dogs by generating income through ecotourism
  3. To identify critical landscape connections by characterising wild dogs’ movement patterns

At the Zoo

Understanding the Reproductive Biology of the African Wild Dog for Improved Management and Conservation

Nucharin Songasen
Sponsored by Smithsonian National Park Conservation and Research Center

    Research Goals:

  • Link reproductive endocrinology (hormone assays) with corticoid assays. Fecals will need to be collected from 10.10 animals in the SSP population.
  • A behavior questionnaire will be developed to compliment the data gathered from the fecal assays.
  • Semen evaluation and cryopreservation methods will be developed.
  • Post-mortem evaluation of ovaries to study the identifying factors in large litters.

Evaluation of the GNRH Agonist Implant Deslorelin for Contraception in Carnivores

Dr. Cheri Asa
Sponsored by St. Louis Zoological Park

    Research Goals:

  • The AZA Wildlife Contraception Center is sponsoring a basic research study of the efficacy of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist deslorelin (Suprelorin®) in implant form.
  • Deslorelin effects contraception by temporarily suppressing the reproductive endocrine system, preventing production of pituitary and gonadal hormones.
  • Record any signs of estrous behavior, male sexual interest, mounting or copulation.
  • Complete the AZA Wildlife Contraception Center’s annual Contraception Database Survey, which is distributed in the spring by the Center’s database manager.
  • Monitor suppression via fecal gonadal hormones.