By Painted Wolf Foundation - May 13, 2021
PDC’s work in Mana Pools
Painted Dog Conservation (PDC) was recently acknowledged by the Zambezi Valley Conservation Network for their work in the Middle Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe. The article gives insight into painted wolf research in the area, along with the challenges that PDC must deal with in working in such a dynamic environment.
PDC’s well-established base in Hwange encompasses a wide array of programmes. These range from anti-poaching and population monitoring to education and community outreach projects. However, in 2010 PDC responded to the decline of painted wolves in Mana Pools and began limited operations there. In 2017, they were asked by the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority to expand their operations, and opened a small office to address the needs of painted wolves in the Middle Zambezi.
The pressing issue that led PDC to expand their work into this area was the precipitous decline of painted wolves. From an estimated 60 animals in the past, there are only 11 today. It seems that most of this decline is due to pressure from lions and hyenas. Additionally, there are unacceptable pressures on den sites by tourists and some safari operators.
PDC has three objectives that will help them understand what is happening in the Middle Zambezi Valley:
to develop an ID database for all painted wolves in Mana Pools National Park as well as the Middle Zambezi Valley.
to fully understand the ecology of the painted wolf wolves there, especially with respect to understanding the competition between painted wolves and lions and hyenas.
to study the genetic make-up of the painted wolves in the region.