Painted Dog Conservation persisting through 2020


[three_fourth_last] The 2020 Annual Report from Painted Dog Conservation (PDC) is now available. It is well worth a read as it shows how they rose above the challenges of this difficult year. [/three_fourth_last]

The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated tourism, and the livelihoods of many who rely on it, in Zimbabwe. Desperation caused by these economic troubles has led to increases in poaching. Through it all PDC was able to keep their staff safe and on full pay. They increased anti-poaching efforts through collaborations with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) and engaging community volunteer scouts. The hard work paid off as they successfully protected a painted wolf pack that had denned next to a known poaching hotspot.

While the monitoring efforts of PDC were severely impacted by the pandemic, data indicates that the painted wolf population in Hwange National Park is stable. However, the news from Mana Pools is a cause for concern. Here the population has declined over the past ten years, with disturbing reports of irresponsible behaviour from visitors that may be affecting them.

Conservation work doesn’t always have a happy ending. To bolster the painted wolf population in Mana Pools, PDC moved a pack of 9 adults with their 10 pups there from Hwange. The pack soon suffered losses from lions and hyena, and moved far out of the release area, where they came into conflict with humans. Sadly villagers killed the alpha female and the remaining pups were missing. PDC recaptured five of the remaining six painted wolves and brought them back to PDC’s Rehabilitation Facility in Hwange. 

On an encouraging note, however, was a legislative win for painted wolves in Zimbabwe. PDC, working with Speak Out for Animals, secured “Specially Protected” status for the species. Thanks to their hard work, painted wolves are no longer on the problem animal list. Zimbabwe now has the highest level of legislative protection for painted wolves of any country with a painted wolf population!

Community support continued despite the challenges the year presented. An ambulance donated by PDC played a crucial role in Covid-19 response.

PDC is committed to creating an environment where both people and painted wolves can thrive. To learn more about how they do this please visit HERE.