South Africa: outreach and education

Negative attitudes and misconception towards wild dogs can often be resolved through outreach, education, participation and interaction. Tolerance of wild dogs outside of protected areas should be encouraged through programmes aimed at instilling a conservation ethic and understanding of pack functioning in land owners and communities. In KwaZulu-Natal successful education and awareness of the status and plight of the wild dog, regular media reports, educational camps, meetings with landowners and tribal authorities have been of enormous importance. Education programmes such as this and an open relationship with communities, land owners, game farmers, and schools, the general public, law enforcement agencies and public media are imperative if attitudes towards wild dogs both in and out of protected areas are to continue to change and improve. 
Until recently much of this education and outreach was driven by the Endangered Wildlife Trust in collaboration with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. The WildlifeACT trust, supported by Wildlands Conservation Trust and the Endangered Wildlife Trust are currently engaging with communities neighbouring Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, Mkhuze Game Reserve and Tembe Elephant Park.