Research on the impact of fencing on African wild dogs

The team at the Samburu-Laikipia Wild Dog Project in Kenya recently published an article in the conservation journal, Oryx. Their research examined how fencing affects African wild dog movements, and has important implications for maintaining wide, connected habitats.

Wildlife fences are often used to protect the habitat and wildlife in an area, often to keep animals in or keep poachers out. However, using fences can have negative impacts on animal movement and landscape connectivity. This is especially worrisome for animals that require large areas as part of their natural behavior, as African wild dogs do. 

This research looked into how fences affected African wild dog movement. It also determined which specific types of fencing either prevented or allowed them to be able to pass through. Where the use of fencing is unavoidable, this research is critical in determining what the most permeable fencing design would be. 

Habitat loss and fragmentation is the greatest long-term threat that wild dogs face. Protected areas are increasingly becoming isolated, either through fencing or by being surrounded by human development. This research will aid efforts to promote connectivity and create more suitable habitat for wild dogs to thrive. 

To learn more about the impacts of wildlife fencing, read the full article HERE.