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

Thank you for supporting DSWF by donating to our painted dog projects.

Amongst the global uncertainty brought about by Covid-19, your support has never been more important as conservation projects grapple to deal with limited resources, reduced tourism and increasing levels of poaching. Despite the devastating impacts of Covid-19 on conservation efforts, DSWF have pledged to maintain full levels of support across our whole conservation portfolio. This will stretch us to our financial limits, but we have no other option!

There is still much for scientists to learn about painted dogs. Our Programmes and Policy Intern, Linus Hiscox, had a deeper look into their highly complex social structures. The more we know, the better we can protect the species.

Find out how else you are protecting painted dogs.


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Thank you for donating to our Protecting Painted Dogs project. Your support is helping David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) fund Painted Dog Conservation (PDC), our ground-based conservation partners who work to protect painted dogs.

The year 2020 has been fraught with challenges, in light of the global pandemic, which has forced us all to adapt, one way or another. Despite the difficulties we are now faced with, we are proud to say that our relationship is as strong as ever with our ground-based conservation partners and that our combined efforts are continuing to make a difference to some of the most world’s most vulnerable wildlife populations and communities living alongside them. We are incredibly grateful to the brave wildlife rangers, who even amid the current crisis, are risking their lives on the frontline of wildlife crime and working tirelessly to maintain vital conservation efforts.

Today, painted dogs are faced by many threats, all man made. One of the most severe is the growing human expansion and agricultural development into their habitat range causing a competition for space and natural resources. In light of this and to counter the often negative narrative around the presence of painted dogs, DSWF has been funding PDC’s educational bushcamps, anti-poaching training, community engagement and front line protection of this species in Zimbabwe for more than 20 years. At DSWF, we believe that supporting community based conservation strategies like these plays a pivotal role in shifting attitudes and behaviour towards wildlife.


Your generosity, your impact:

The Iganayana Children’s Bush Camp is arguably PDC's flagship programme. Since this world class education programme began in 2004 a total of 411 camps with over 13,500 students have been engaged in conservation and environmental education. This is an incredible achievement, for a community consisting of approximately only 18,000 adults in the core operating area. The children who have passed through the camp have shown a remarkable change in behaviour towards conservation. Former students have reported wildlife crime to their teachers, directly leading to the arrests of six poachers. Perhaps most significant is the fact that there is an increase in bush camp students joining the Mabale Volunteer Anti-Poaching Unit and replacing their parents who initially started the programme. Finally, we are pleased to share our latest news that since 2001, DSWF’s supported law enforcement programmes and anti-poaching funding has resulted in over 30,000 snares been removed from the bush.

From everyone here at DSWF, thank you in advance for your support at such a critical time. With your help, DSWF can continue to fund PDC’s incredible efforts and ensure the survival of painted dogs in the wild.


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Happy New Year from the team at David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF)!


In 2019 we marked 35 years since David Shepherd founded DSWF and celebrated the incredible milestone of together raising over £10million to protect endangered wildlife across Africa and Asia.


As we head into 2020, we pledge to continue our vital work fighting against extinction, through our support for the incredible conservation partners we work with.


We hope you will continue to stand with us in our commitment to fight, protect and engage on behalf of endangered wildlife for many years to come.


Please take a moment to watch the following film which shows our commitment to the future of wildlife:

Together we have the power to continue David Shepherd’s legacy, give a voice to the voiceless and help end extinction before it’s too late. Thank you for your support.

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Thank you for donating to our Protecting Painted Dogs project. Your support helps to fund The Painted Dog Conservation (PDC), the ground-based conservation partners that David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) supports and who work to protect painted dogs in Zimbabwe.

The African painted dog is one of Africa’s most endangered mammals, with poaching remaining the single biggest threat to their survival. 

The major way in which PDC and DSWF counter this is through regular anti-poaching patrols, providing a blanket of cover in some of the key areas and territories around Hwange National Park. 

The anti-poaching unit covers up to 20km per day, 6 days a week. It’s a hard and relentless job, but it keeps the dogs safe. It’s essential that the wildlife rangers dedicated to this work are well-equipped with quality field clothing and tools, such as GPS units and digital cameras to ensure they can do their job and report on any suspicious or illegal activity. It’s also a way for our ground-based conservation partners to enhance the strategic deployment of units into known poaching hotspots or snare trap locations.

Whilst the anti-poaching units are busy in the field, the team back at base are also busy working with local communities with whom they have successfully built relationships of trust, and who often call with regular dog sightings and help to prevent den disruptions. 

Several times over the last year, PDC have been called into help with the safe relocation of a painted dog den to ensure human-wildlife conflicts are reduced and does not put wild packs at risk who have found themselves unknowingly living too close to human settlements. The adult dogs are safely darted and removed with the pups, then dug out in a safe and controlled environment by experts for relocation. Due to the trust granted to PDC by the local communities, this helps avoid unnecessary trauma or attack from those less tolerant to wildlife living in close proximity.

By investing in long term engagement and education projects, DSWF has witnessed first-hand how this work can help protect wildlife and people, allowing for a peaceful and productive co-existence.

By supporting our work with painted dogs, you are helping not only one of Africa’s most endangered mammals, but also the incredible local communities and children who provide the first line of defence in their protection.


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Thank you for donating to our Protecting Painted Dogs project. Your support helps to fund The Painted Dog Conservation (PDC), the ground-based conservation partners that David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation supports and who work to protect painted dogs in Zimbabwe.

Poaching remains one of the single biggest threats to not only painted dogs but also to all wildlife in the area surrounding Hwange National Park, which is where the PDC operates. Due to the socio-economic situation in Zimbabwe, alongside high unemployment levels, many are turning to illegal hunting practices for subsistence.

PDC provides anti-poaching units which carry out daily patrols to protect the park. They provide a blanket of protection which covers a region of approximately 10,000 km2, and since 2001 the anti-poaching units have collected over 30,000 snares form the area, each having posed a deadly threat to painted dogs and many other wildlife.

A big factor in working to protect painted dogs in Zimbabwe is about changing attitudes and cultures – previously, painted dogs were seen as a threat to livestock, as a predator who might put livelihoods at risk. After the incredible work that PDC has carried out in the local community over many decades, painted dogs are now seen more as a bringer of luck, an essential part of the landscape and worth protecting for the future.

One of the main drivers in this change of attitude has been the educational Bush Camps which PDC holds – 24 of them in the last year alone, reaching nearly 800 children. This DSWF-sponsored, free of charge program provides educational resources and activities for children, teaching them not just about painted dogs, but about the value of conservation, the importance of wildlife and how we all should work to respect and protect nature.

We couldn’t continue to fund this essential work without your support.


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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
$13,966 raised of $18,500 goal
213 donations
$4,534 to go
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