Taking the opportunity to ‘expand the pack,’ PWF trustee, Nick Dyer, traded in his bush khakis for a suit and tie while giving a painted wolf talk at the magnificent Cavalry and Guards Club in Piccadilly.
Nick was invited to share his experiences with the painted wolves of Mana Pools at the historical institution by member and wildlife-lover, Mike Cuthbert. A huge thank you to Mike for his support.
A hundred and thirty PWF supporters, old and new, attended the event.
Wines were kindly donated by Painted Wolf Wines – thank you Emma and Jeremy!
Painted Wolves, a Wild Dog’s Life
Central to the talk was how Nick came to co-write, with acclaimed conservationist Peter Blinston, Painted Wolves: a Wild Dog’s Life, an exquisite tribute to the painted wolf.
A labour of love, Nick did not originally set out to co-write a book. Instead, a passion for wildlife photography evolved into a love of wild dogs that developed into a passion to conserve them and finally consolidated into a book.
While other wild animals enjoy huge media coverage the painted wolf has been left behind despite being a socially complex and a very endangered species. One such reason might be its name, African wild dog, Cape hunting dog, amongst others? Read: What’s in a name? Dogs or wolves, painted or wild.
Tigers, gorillas, lions, rhinos, chimpanzees and elephants are all African conservation heavy-weights attracting global attention and funding. Most of these species have endeared themselves to us because we grow up reading about them in books or watching films like the Lion King. Yet, painted wolves are just as endearing, and even more endangered than many of these species.
Painted Wolves, a Wild Dog’s Life is one of only a few books to be published on this emblematic species.
The BBC’s Dynasties was also one of the first documentaries to shine the light on painted wolves.
The tide is starting to turn for the painted wolf, just in time.
Conservation of painted wolves
Throughout the 20th century, painted wolves were regarded as vermin by farmers across the continent. They remain heavily threatened by snares, disease and conflict with humans.
Today, there are only 6,500 painted wolves left in Africa, far fewer than the almost 500,000 elephants that roam the continent.
One of the major challenges Nick highlighted in the talk was a lack of space. The human population in Africa will double by 2050 putting even more pressure on wildlife, and especially the wide-ranging painted wolf.
Nick talked about the work of the Painted Wolf Foundation, which is focusing on improving public awareness around the wolves while trying to amplify the work of those in the field striving to save them.
Nick ended his talk with this powerful video. If you have not already seen it, please take a look!
We’re so excited to have so many new members of our growing pack.