Protecting Painted Dogs

by David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Protecting Painted Dogs
Protecting Painted Dogs
Protecting Painted Dogs
Protecting Painted Dogs
Protecting Painted Dogs
Protecting Painted Dogs
Protecting Painted Dogs
Protecting Painted Dogs
Painted Dog, Credit Painted Dog Conservation
Painted Dog, Credit Painted Dog Conservation

Thank you for supporting David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) Protecting Painted Dogs.

Painted dogs were once abundant throughout the African continent however populations have sadly declined by up to 98% in the last 100 years and now fewer than 7,000 remain in the wild. Challenges ranging from habitat loss and environmental degradation, human-wildlife conflict, subsistence poaching and a lack of education continue to threaten the survival of this iconic species.

DSWF continues to fund ground-based conservation partners based in The Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe which hosts one of the last remaining wild painted dog populations. By adopting a holistic approach to conservation which puts people at its heart, funding will safeguard a vital wildlife population and its habitat for years to come across this vibrant ecosystem.

By funding anti-poaching patrols, the presence of rangers in the park will disincentivise poachers from entering the protected area due to heightened consequences. DSWF will also work to remove illegal snares, which currently kill 10% of wildlife in the park. This will provide a blanket of protection to over 14,000 square kilometres of painted dog habitat. Whilst anti-poaching patrols are essential to deter the loss of painted dogs in the short-term, DSWF will simultaneously support an education programme to foster an emotional investment in nature among children to incentivise them to protect nature and share their experience and knowledge with relatives fostering a community attachment to nature and desire to protect it.

“The threats are many. Loss of quality habitat and poaching represent the biggest problems. Unless we take action to address these threats, painted dogs will become extinct in our lifetime.” - Peter Blinston, Painted Dog Conservation

DSWF relies entirely on donations and support from generous individuals like you to continue to fight wildlife crime, protect species and engage individuals and communities to ensure a brighter future for wildlife. So thank you for your support in helping to give Painted Dog’s a chance of survival. 

Find out more about our work with Painted Dogs

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) would love to keep you up-to-date with how your generous support is making a difference, share exciting wildlife conservation stories and tell you about forthcoming campaigns, fundraising initiatives and events. Please let us know how you would like to hear from us via our online form: Stay In Touch

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Image Credit: Painted Dog Conservation
Image Credit: Painted Dog Conservation

Thank you for supporting David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation through GlobalGiving.

Over the past six-months, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) have continued to work alongside our ground-based conservation partners in Zimbabwe to protect a vital stronghold of painted dogs.

By supporting anti-poaching patrols and operations in and around the Hwange National Park, DSWF are helping to remove snares and to disincentivize ‘would be poachers’ from entering the park which ultimately creates a blanket of protection for painted dogs.

Over the past six-months, DSWF have supported 532 ranger patrols recovering 479 snares across 5000km2 of prime painted dog habitat. DSWF have also supported the training and employment of 17 anti-poaching unit scouts who have been strategically deployed in poaching hot spots leading to the apprehension, conviction, and persecution of 12 poachers.

Due to Covid-19 and school vacations, DSWF funding has not contributed towards youth education over the past six months. However, over the next few months we will continue our long-standing support of a kid’s bush camp in the Hwange National Park which teaches local children conservation concepts, an understanding of ecological relationships, the value of biodiversity, an appreciation of painted dogs and the role they play in ecosystems. The purpose of these bush camps is to inspire an emotional attachment to the beauty and complexity of nature and inspire children to become the environmental leaders of tomorrow.

The Bigger Picture

Over the past 12 months, DSWF have continued our 37-year legacy of providing unwavering support to protect some of the world’s most endangered species. Over the course of 2022 we will continue to support our long-term conservation partners to protect wildlife, tackle wildlife crime and reduce poaching threats alongside engaging and supporting more community groups working to protect wildlife.

Thanks to your help, we have granted over £11 million in direct conservation support to turn the tide on extinction.

On behalf of everyone at DSWF and the wildlife we fight to protect, Thank You.


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Thank you for supporting David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) through GlobalGiving. As well as providing you with your bi-annual Painted dog project report, we would also like to inform you about an exciting campaign.

DSWF works closely with our ground-based conservation partner in Zimbabwe who seek to increase the range and numbers of painted dogs in and around the Hwange National Park. We work to achieve this target through a series of initiatives including anti-poaching, education and community outreach programmes.

Over the past 25 years, DSWF have been funding initiatives to combat human-wildlife conflict in Zimbabwe and were thrilled to hear that our ground-based conservation partners received multiple alerts this year from communities that painted dogs were denning near their homes. This offered opportunities for these packs to be relocated, mitigating any potential conflict and retaliatory killings. With only 6,500 painted dogs left in Africa, initiatives such as this are essential to help populations recover. We were also thrilled to hear that one of the alpha females in the Lukodet pack has given birth to 52 pups in just five years!

In the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe one of Africa’s last painted dog strongholds remain. However, poaching in Hwange remains a serious threat to painted dog populations who are often the unintentional victims of wire snares. This year, DSWF continued our long-term support of anti-poaching patrols in the Hwange National Park contributing towards 16,144km of ranger patrols, the apprehension and prosecution of 28 poachers and the removal of c.3000 snares. After many years of supporting lobbying efforts, we were also thrilled to see Zimbabwe government granting Special Protection to painted dogs meaning that anyone convicted of unlawful killing of a painted dog will face a mandatory 9-year jail term.

How can you help this work continue?

This week GlobalGiving are hosting their annual Little by Little campaign, this means that all donations donated through GlobalGiving to David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation between Monday 13th and Friday 17th September will receive 50% match funding from GlobalGiving. So, if you donate £20 today, we receive £30 towards Painted Dog conservation making your contribution work that little bit harder!

We are hugely grateful that you have chosen to support us to help turn the tide on extinction. Thank you.

Little by Little Campaign T’s and C’s

  • Campaign runs from Monday 13th to Friday 17th September.
  • Donations up to the amount of $50 / £36 will be match funded by 50%.
  • One donation per unique donor will be match funded.
  • New monthly donations set up this week will be 50% match funded and your 4th donation will be 100% matched!
  • All DSWF GlobalGiving projects are eligable for match funding.
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Credit William Fortescue
Credit William Fortescue

Today less than 7,000 painted dogs remain in the wild in 39 subpopulations. This population size continues to decline, and the species is now classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).   As humans continue to expand further into wildlife habitats the chances of conflict over natural resources and retaliatory killings of Painted Dogs increases, but sadly these are not the only threats that they face, painted dogs also face threats from:

Disease: Infectious, invasive, non-native, and viral diseases, often transmitted by domesticated animals, can pose a huge threat to whole packs which can be wiped out in a single disease outbreak.

Snares: Snares are the indiscriminate killers of the African bush, often described as the ‘silent killers.’ Laid for illegal bushmeat poaching, for example targeting antelope species to feed local communities, painted dogs often fall victim to these brutal killers and remain trapped, unable to escape.

Our ground-based conservation partners in Zimbabwe work tirelessly to spread awareness about the threats facing painted dogs among local communities and the benefits of conserving them.

This year, DSWF will continue to fund our ground-based conservation partners in Zimbabwe through anti-poaching patrols to remove snares. Furthermore, we will continue to support an educational programme called The Children’s Bush Camp to teach local children conservation concepts and an appreciation of painted dogs and the role they play in ecosystems.

Thank you for your support in helping us turn the tide on extinction. 

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Thank you for choosing to protect painted dogs in their natural habitat. You are helping our ground-based conservation partners across Africa adapt to the new challenges they are facing because of the pandemic.

In Hwange National Park, our dedicated ground-based conservation partners, Painted Dog Conservation (PDC) were pleasantly surprised when the strict lockdown imposed in March had a positive impact on poaching. The number of poaching instances dropped dramatically due to the limits on peoples’ movement.

Sadly, after the restrictions lifted, there was a surge in wildlife crime brought about by the economic hardships caused by the pandemic and subsequent collapse in tourism.

Using funds provided by generous supporters like you, we have engaged local volunteer anti-poaching units to patrol park borders near vulnerable communities. As well as deterring poachers, giving painted dogs a greater chance of survival, this provides much-needed income for local families.

Painted dogs don’t bark. Instead, they make a noise known as ‘hoo call’.


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Organization Information

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

Location: Guildford, Surrey - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @DSWFwildlife
Project Leader:
Theo Bromfield
Guildford, Surrey United Kingdom
$13,771 raised of $18,500 goal
208 donations
$4,729 to go
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