Painted Dogs, are unique to Africa and are among the continent’s most endangered species. Zimbabwe is one of the few countries with a healthy population and the Painted Dog Conservation Foundation is committed to the conservation of these animals.
Threatened with extinction
There are about 6000-7000 painted dogs in all of Africa. Today, only small and fragmented populations remain, mainly in protected areas. There are still about 800 painted dogs in the wild in Zimbabwe. There are several things that threaten the painted dogs. The Painted Dog Conservation project tries to prevent these things.
Poachers and traps
One of the biggest threats to the painted dogs in these nature reserves are poachers. Poachers set traps to catch, among other animals, impalas, but unfortunately the painted dogs also regularly get entangled in these deadly traps made of sturdy iron wire. The animals can still be helped if they are stuck in a trap. If wild dogs are found entangled in these snares, they can be darted and treated at the rehabilitation center. The goal is to have the painted dog reunited with the rest of the pack as quickly as possible.
Anti Poaching Units
One of the first things the Painted Dog Conservation (PDC) project did was train Anti-poaching Units. These are teams that control the bush. Their goal is to detect and remove all snares (traps) that have been placed. Together, the teams remove more than 3,000 snares per year. This will save at least 300 to 400 animal lives, including dozens of painted dogs.