Kruger National Park

  • The first section of the park was originally proclaimed in 1898 and became known as the Sabi game reserve. The first warden of the park James Stevenson Hamilton was elected in 1902 and was tasked with removing local tribes from within the reserve. The Sabi reserve located in the southern section of present day Kruger National Park was linked with the Shingwedzi Reserve proclaimed in 1903. It was later expanded into the Kruger National Park in 1926. The Kruger National Park is situated in the low-lying savannas of the eastern parts of the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces of South Africa, adjacent to Mozambique in the east, and Zimbabwe in the north. Granite and gneiss soils dominate the western half of Kruger whereas nutrient-rich basalt soils dominate the eastern half, with a narrow band of Karoo sediment occurring at the junction of the granite and basalt (Schutte 1986). Today the Kruger National Park and surrounding conservation areas represent the largest, contiguous protected area in South Africa that contains extant and unmanaged populations of wild dogs. The Kruger National Park covers an area of 19 485 kmĀ² and extends 360 kilometers from north to south and 65 kilometers from east to west.
  • Park-wide census data have been obtained over the past 20 years from five wild dogs (Maddock 1989; Maddock & Mills 1994; Bowland 1994, Wilkinson 1995; Davies 2000; Kemp & Mills 2005). These broad data show an overall north-south density gradient for both species, with higher densities recorded in the south than the north of the park. The same surveys indicated a consistent downward trend in wild dog numbers (from 463 in 1995 to ~150 in 2009). In addition, focal studies of wild dogs in Kruger have been conducted in the southern section of the park (Mills & Biggs 1993, Mills 1995, Mills & Gorman 1997, Girman et al.1997, Girman et al.2001, Creel et al.2004).
  • The current population contains approximately 150 individuals in 19 packs, with the density higher in the south than the north.