South Africa: current projects

Conservation Management of Wild Dogs in KwaZulu- Natal 2005 – present

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal Province is an important metapopulation reserve. Recent developments by private land owners and tribal authorities consolidating large tracts of land into conservancies, as well as changing attitudes towards conservation, biodiversity and the value of ecotourism make the region particularly important for the future survival of wild dogs. The project studies the spatial attributes and ecological features, appropriate landscape linkages, necessary for supporting self sustaining populations of wild dogs. In addition a sound basis for the trouble-free and successful expansion of wild dogs throughout KwaZulu-Natal, and eventually all of South Africa, is being developed while maintaining a consistent network of communication among local communities, private land owners, wildlife managers and conservation scientists.
For more information on the project EWT website

Kruger National Park Wild Dog Project 1988 – present

The Kruger National Park Wild Dog Project draws public attention to the plight of wild dogs and has provided important scientific information on the ecology of the species. This information has been used to improve management programs for the wild dog both in Kruger National Park and outside.
For more information on the project EWT website

Wild Dog Metapopulation Project 1998 – present

The wild dog metapopulation project explores issues relating to the conservation of small populations of wild dogs and the viability of this approach for medium- to long-term wild dog conservation.
For more information on the project EWT website

Wild Dog Metapopulation Genetics Project 2007 – present

Metapopulation decisions to reintroduce or translocate individuals have been made on a case-by-case basis after consideration of population data provided by the various subpopulations. Maintenance of accurate lineages has become increasingly difficult, leading to a greater risk of interbreeding within and between populations. The project aims to address these issues by generating a national wild dog metapopulation genetics database to help and increase our understanding of the effects of recent management activities, as well as guide future conservation management of the wild dog.
For more information on the project EWT website

The Great Fish River Reserve reintroduction project 2013 - present
The Great Fish River Reserve (GFRR) in the Eastern Cape province has the potential to become an African Wild Dog metapopulation reserve. This research project has two broad aims: firstly, to determine the long-term viability of a Wild Dog reintroduction into the reserve and secondly to determine the attitudes of stakeholders surrounding the GFRR towards Wild Dogs and how they could influence the overall success of a reintroduction. These questions will be addressed by utilizing population modelling programs (such as VORTEX) and through the use of questionnaires. The successful reintroduction of Wild Dogs to the GFRR will expand the network of existing metapopulation reserves in South Africa and may also assist in the ecological restoration of the GFRR.