Good news for the painted wolves of the Luangwa Valley!

Recent wild dog conservation success in the Luangwa Valley has it estimated to now have the largest population of wild dogs in the whole of Zambia. Despite being one of Africa’s most endangered carnivores, wild dogs (also known as the painted wolf) in and around the South Luangwa National Park have enjoyed several years of increasing numbers, and there are now estimated to be approximately 350 adults and yearlings living in the Luangwa Valley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is largely due to the collaborative efforts of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP), and Conservation South Luangwa (CSL). Successfully increasing the wild dog population in the Luangwa has required joint conservation endeavours to reduce the impacts of snaring, which has had devastating impacts on wild dogs in the past.

As a result of intense monitoring of approximately 150 to 180 dogs by ground-based field crews, aerial tracking and satellite-GPS collar technology, teams from DNPW, ZCP and CSL have been able to detect and treat snared dogs. The data provided by collared dogs is also used in anti-poaching patrols, which target snare removals in high snaring risk areas for dogs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While this population increase is encouraging news, the wild dogs still face an uncertain future, particularly outside the areas in the Luangwa where they are not intensively protected. “Conservation successes are hard to achieve, and we cannot relax, as they can quickly be undone if we are not vigilant,” said ZCP Ecologist Thandiwe Mweetwa. “Nevertheless, we should celebrate this conservation success for Zambia and the region’s wild dogs.”

Watch the painted wolves in action here: Pick a bone with a wild dog!

With multiple safari camps in the South Luangwa National Park, Robin Pope Safaris actively supports the wonderful conservation efforts of the ZCP through a mandatory Conservation Fee levied on every bed night through their South Luangwa camps and also by hosting the ZCP team at a base camp at Nkwali Camp.

The Robin Pope Safaris guides also play a part in assisting the ZCP teams not only providing the ZCP information when an injured animal is spotted but also help with the man-power when needed.

During Robin Pope Safaris’ Carnivore Week in November, guests are given the opportunity to learn about and view carnivores as well as gain some exclusive insights into the ZCP under the guidance of project manager, Dr Matt Becker and his team. During this week activities will include tracking, learning about ecological survey techniques in the field including lion identification and prey surveys and attending lectures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be part of something! We have some limited availability on this years Carnivore Week safari. Contact us today for more information!

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