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 Dogs - Nicholas Dyer
Painted Dogs - Nicholas Dyer

The last six months have been extremely challenging for our ground-based conservation partners in Zimbabwe due to the escalating costs of operations. Largely due to increases in fuel prices and the prices of commodities, including rations for the rangers. This is forcing our partners to ration fuel, which negatively impacts operations. Increased costs are also impacting upon the education program and although this has managed to continue as normal for now, it is unlikely that the full program can be sustained unless costs begin to decrease soon.

The painted dog population in Hwange National Park remains stable at around 200 individuals. Poaching trends have remained about constant in this area for the past six months. 16 rangers have been supported by DSWF in that period and they patrolled for a total of 5,464 hours covering a total of 15,446 kilometres. However, the dog population is slowly declining in the Zambezi valley and the Mana Pools National Park where our partners are seeing fewer dogs than ten years ago, potentially due to the combined pressure from lions, hyena and high levels of tourism in those areas.

Unfortunately, the greatest threat to painted dogs is humans. Because of this, we are prioritising support of work with local communities to improve awareness of the threats facing painted dogs. In the past six months our conservation partners saw an increase in painted dogs approaching nearby villages to predate on livestock. However, we were all thrilled that although the dogs did approach the village, the community were very proactive in chasing the dogs away non-violently. The village even established a WhatsApp group to alert each other of the dogs’ presence. Our partners rapid response unit were also on hand alongside a tracking team to help chase the dogs away and thus minimise losses to livestock.

Poaching remains a constant threat to the dogs. DSWF support anti-poaching units who conduct a minimum of 40 patrols per month looking for all signs of poaching activities, snares, spoor, fires, carcasses, vehicle tracks and gunshots. The presence is deterrence to would be poachers, as they know, the chances of being spotted are real.

The work of the anti-poaching units has been bolstered by a beneficial and successful collaboration with several community anti-poaching units most notably the Mabale community. The relationship with this community group arose out of the need for increased anti-poaching support during the worst of the pandemic but it has continued since. The stipend the Mabale community rangers receive significantly boosts the local economy at a time when opportunities are still scarce because of the impacts of the pandemic. Having seen their success, many communities in the area are replicating the efforts of the Mabale Community and making their villages safe for livestock and wildlife, and some are also showing interest in setting up further voluntary community anti-poaching units which will continue to bolster anti-poaching efforts within the region.

Our partners flagship education programme, the Children's Bush Camp, has run smoothly in the past six months. It continues to provide local children with educational opportunities and the chance to experience nature which they normally would never have. The program has been very successful in improving literacy amongst participating children, which has presented further opportunities to engage with them in a more sophisticated way in terms of developing their appreciation for the environment and wildlife. In addition the conservation clubs also continue to engage the kids with conservation education even after they have left the Bush Camp including through a new series of wildlife and environment quizzes and competitions that our partners have set up to further maintain the children’s interest.

Stay up to date with our work and how your generous support is making a difference, receive exciting wildlife conservation stories and hear about forthcoming campaigns, fundraising initiatives and events: Stay In Touch

Monitoring & Tracking - Nicholas Dyer
Monitoring & Tracking - Nicholas Dyer
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Painted Dogs - Will Burrand Lucas
Painted Dogs - Will Burrand Lucas

Reports from ground-based conservation partners in Zimbabwe, Painted Dog Conservation (PDC) show a stable, viable population of painted dogs remains in and around Hwange National Park, with 176 adult dogs in 26 packs with an average pack size of 6.6. Four breeding packs were also recorded with a total of 31 pups.

Currently the PDC anti-poaching units (APU) patrol in and around the national park. The APU teams look for all signs of poaching activities including snares, spoor, fires, carcasses, vehicle tracks and gunshots. Their increased presence is a deterrence to would be poachers. The patrols are supplemented by the strategic deployment of the Community Anti-Poaching Units, which now represents 40 individuals. This increase in units has led to the establishment of five bases for an extended period of April to November 2022, which typically sees the highest levels of poaching activity. The performances of both the APU and the Community APU patrols exceeded expectations in the past year. The APU managed 53 patrols a month, against a target of 40 with 3,500 snares removed from the bush, effectively saving the lives of more than 350 animals. The Community APU averaged 23 patrols a month, doubling their target. 3,176 kilometres were patrolled and resulted in 28 poachers being arrested and prosecuted and 1,857 snares removed from the bush, effectively saving the lives of more than 180 animals. These figures are based on conservative estimates that approximately 10% of snares placed in the bush result in the killing of wildlife.

To further prevent poaching, in recent years PDC have also increased its emphasis on recruiting informants from the local community. Currently they have four reliable informants, and their assistance has now resulted in the arrest of more than 20 poachers. PDC have also strengthened their partnership with the local authorities to try and ensure that poachers are convicted according to the letter of the law.

It is vital to encourage local communities to engage in conservation for the wider protection of painted dogs and the entire ecosystem. By conducting education and providing incentives to the local communities who previously impact negatively on the wildlife (not just painted dogs but their prey species) can lead to the desired behavioural change where people take positive action to protect the dogs, their prey, and the habitat. This vital work also involves the younger generation through engaging with them via bush camps which teach 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, and to inspire an emotional attachment to the beauty and complexity of nature.

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

Education - Richard l'Anson
Education - Richard l'Anson
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
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

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
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.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

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.
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

Location: Guildford, Surrey - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @DSWFwildlife
Project Leader:
Theo Bromfield
Guildford, Surrey United Kingdom
$18,122 raised of $18,500 goal
 
234 donations
$378 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.