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Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus). Northern Tuli Game Reserve. Botswana

In Search of the African Wild Dog

Perhaps the most successful hunter in Africa, the African wild dog, Lycaon pictus, ironically finds itself on the brink of extinction. Part of the Canidae family, and sharing a general similarity with the various canids worldwide, the African wild dog differs fundamentally from other canids: it belongs to the genus, Lycaon, which formed a new branch on the family tree some 3 million years back and subsequently evolved independently. Today it is the only survivor of this unique line and, because of its genetic difference, is unable to interbreed with any of its canid relatives or even with the domestic dog. Previously found in diverse habitats across the continent, it has tragically disappeared from much of its former range. Today there are only an estimated 3 000 to 5 500 wild dogs left in the whole of Africa, a mere 500 of which occur in South Africa.
 
In Search of the African Wild Dog is a stunningly photographed and well-documented tribute to these rare and endangered animals, covering their history, biology, distribution, habitat, and breeding and release programmes. In spite of, or perhaps because of, the elusive nature of the wild dogs and their limited population numbers, Roger and Pat de la Harpe have produced their best book yet.

Book details:
Size: 265 mm x 265 mm
ISBN 13: 9781920289003
Hard cover
160 pages with 200 colour photographs

 
In Search of the African Wild Dog is a stunningly photographed and well-documented book about these rare and endangered animals, covering their history, biology, distribution, habitat, and breeding and release programmes. In spite of, or perhaps because of, the elusive nature of the wild dogs and their limited population numbers, Roger and Pat have produced their best book yet. In Search of the African Wild Dog is a stunningly photographed and well-documented tribute to these rare and endangered animals, covering their history, biology, distribution, habitat, and breeding and release programmes. In spite of, or perhaps because of, the elusive nature of the wild dogs and their limited population numbers, Roger and Pat have produced their best book yet. In Search of the African Wild Dog is a stunningly photographed and well-documented book about these rare and endangered animals, covering their history, biology, distribution, habitat, and breeding and release programmes. In spite of, or perhaps because of, the elusive nature of the wild dogs and their limited population numbers, Roger and Pat have produced their best book yet.

Read book reviews here:
Wild Magazine | Sunday Times |Tonight Magazine | Vibe/Citizen Newspaper | Radio Sonder Grense


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The book begins...


Our  book first stirred into life in 2000 when Jan Fourie, an Executive Director of Sasol at the time, approached us to write about "their dogs". After some discussion we established that he was referring to the two wild dog packs that had been released into the Madikwe Game Reserve in 1995 and 1997, with the help of a sponsorship from his organisation. On both occasions the packs had been quite unique in that they were made up of a combination of captive-bred and wild-caught members, which had not been attempted before and which proved to be a great success. Furthermore the captive-bred dogs had come from the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre, which has a long association with Sasol and has over the years played a huge educational role in helping to dispel the generally negative perceptions that people have of the wild dog.
 
Once we had started our research however, it became obvious that to tell the De Wildt/ Madikwe story it would be necessary to extend it to include other conservation areas that subscribe to the concept of a wild dog metapopulation, which involves the translocation of dogs between different reserves to simulate their natural dispersal and prevent inbreeding. The Kruger National Park, home to the only genetically viable group of wild dogs left in South Africa, is essential to the story as is the vast area of private game reserves on the park’s unfenced western boundary, which often plays host to some of the Kruger packs. And so it was that we embarked on a journey, which was as emotional as it was physical, that criss-crossed the country from the arid northern regions of Limpopo Province to the sub-tropics of KwaZulu-Natal, in an ever-widening search for these most elusive of creatures.


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We are proud to have been associated with the organisations below and are greatful for the assistance they have given us.

The Madikwe Collection - Fine Lodges in Madikwe Game Reserve Endangered Wildlife Trust Sasol De Wildt Cheetah Centre The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre focuses on the conservation of rare, vulnerable or endangered animals. Cheetah Conservation is one of our core disciplines.
Mashatu Game Reserve Tuli Safari Lodge Nitani Lodge Tintswalo Safari Lodge Isibindi Africa Lodges
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Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus). Northern Tuli Game Reserve. Botswana

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