Tuesday, November 17, 2009

African Wild Dog Facts and How You Can Save Them

African wild dog packs are submission based hierachies, rather than dominance based, meaning that they will beg for food rather than fight for it. African wild dogs will even bring back food, well regurgitate it, for injured or old members of the pack who can't keep up with the hunt. Who knew African wild dogs had hearts of gold?

African wild dogs are also very successful predators with ~80% of their hunts resulting in a kill, a much higher success rate than other carnivores. Perhaps in part African wild dogs are such successful hunters because they have the highest bite force quotient (strength of the bite relative to their body mass) of all carnivores. Pretty impressive!

Why African Wild Dogs Need Our Help
African wild dogs are one of the world's most endangered canids with only ~3000 - 5500 individuals remaining in eastern and southern Africa. They've been persecuted by humans for years, negatively impacted by human overpopulation which has led to habitat loss. They've also been hunted for game and by livestock owners. African wild dogs also live in unprotected areas since most of the national parks are too small to support their packs. Sources: Wikipedia: African Wild Dog, African Wild Dog Conservancy.

Help Save African Wild Dogs
African wild dog photo courtesy of: digitalART2