Cyclones and canids

Weathering economic turmoil and tropical storms, the African Wildlife Conservation Fund (AWCF) hasn’t let recent events stop them from protecting the emblematic painted wolf! We’ve just received their latest newsletter, and it makes for fascinating reading.

The effects of Cyclone Idai were particularly hard on southeastern Zimbabwe, as flooding, heavy rains and damage to infrastructure affected many communities. Luckily, AWCF was unscathed by the storm, but has been contributing to disaster relief.

African Wildlife Conservation Fund updates

During the last six months AWCF has achieved a great deal, thanks to the unyielding support of their supporters:

  • 14 – African wild dog packs being monitored during the 2019 denning season
  • 875 – Domestic dogs vaccinated against rabies virus to prevent potential risk to resident wildlife
  • 2,000 – Children educated and engaged with through conservation awareness lessons
  • 7 – Snares removed and lives saved (6 wild dogs + 1 buffalo)
  • 12 – Computers donated to a key secondary school to improve learning channels
  • 200 – Reports of human-wildlife conflict (HWC) cases mitigated around Gonarezhou National Park
  • 725 – People engaged with through annual HWC workshops

Time to dig deep and den!

The Southern Hemisphere winter is painted wolf denning season. AWCF has been monitoring 14 dens across the Savé Valley Conservancy and Gonarezhou National Park. Denning took place slightly later than usual. To date, 38 puppies have been recorded in the Savé Valley Conservancy and at least 24 pups in Gonarezhou.

Going forward, AWCF will be working with a team of top scientists to understand the impact of climate change on the dogs, including understanding the noticeable shift in denning dates.

During the denning season, the packs are less nomadic as they raise their puppies. At six months the puppies are able to run with a pack, at a year they join the pack as fully functioning adults.

A rapid response to avoid rabid response

Over 875 domestic dogs have been vaccinated against the rabies virus in the Chiredzi District. This is the first time dogs in the Chiredzi District have been vaccinated. The vaccination campaign took place in April-May.

The regular vaccination of domestic dogs from neighbouring communities is imperative to not only painted wolf survival but humans and other wildlife too. African wild dogs, in particular, are very susceptible to the rabies virus.

CLICK HERE for AWCF newsletters!