The painted wolf used to range across much of sub-Saharan Africa, with evidence of their presence on the very top of Mount Kilimanjaro and along the coasts in Kenya. It is only in the lowland rainforests and the most arid deserts that there is no historical evidence. Now, they are limited to a fraction of their former range, and mostly roam in the plains and woodlands of southern and eastern Africa.
The painted wolf’s home range varies widely, depending on the climatic conditions and prey density. It can be as small as 150 square kilometres, to as wide as 3,000 square kilometres. When the alpha female is denning, however, the range is dramatically restricted. Painted wolves generally occur at low density, although again this is dependent on prey availability.
Except for the three months when they are denning, painted wolves are the nomads of the African bush, moving widely within a very broad home range.
Packs mark the broad boundaries of their range by scent-marking. Territories do overlap, but packs meet very infrequently.
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