Conserving the Endangered African Wild Dogs of Zimbabwe

Rosemary GroomDr. Rosemary Groom  grew up in Zimbabwe and has spent the last 12 years working in wildlife conservation in East and southern Africa. She is a dedicated conservation biologist, with a strong belief in the importance of large scale multidisciplinary conservation programs. Rosemary has worked on various different projects, from reptiles to large African herbivores, but for the past five years she has been working on large carnivore conservation in Zimbabwe, for the small, home-grown, hands-on charity The African Wildlife Conservation Fund.  The endangered African wild dog is the focal species for the program, but Rosemary also runs the Gonarezhou Predator Project, focussing on African lions. Rosemary is a member of the IUCN canid specialist group and is currently acting as the southern African coordinator for the Rangewide Conservation Program for Cheetah and Wild Dogs.  She has published several papers in peer reviewed scientific journals and currently holds a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Johannesburg.

African Wild Dogs. Photo courtesy Rosemary Groom

African Wild Dogs. Photo courtesy Rosemary Groom

African wild dogs are the most endangered large carnivore in southern Africa.  There may be as few as 660 packs left in the wild – that’s only 660 breeding females!  African wild dogs are beautiful, amiable and charismatic animals with very endearing pups – not the feral domestic dogs that some people believe them to be.

In fact, African wild dogs have their own evolutionary lineage and are more closely related to wolves than they are to domestic dogs.

But unfortunately they are highly endangered and their global population is declining…  Threats include habitat loss and fragmentation, wire snaring, disease, human persecution and even predation by lions.

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