Lowveld Wild Dog Project

African wild dogs have a striking appearance, are intelligent, and highly interactive and caring; they are truly one of the most unique species alive today. However, listed as Africa’s second most endangered large carnivore, they are in desperate need of our help and protection.

All of our current efforts stemmed from the Lowveld Wild Dog Project; a research project that was established in 1996 to study a very small and fragile African wild dog population in Savé Valley Conservancy. Our scope has since expanded, and today we monitor, research and conserve resident wild dog populations in not only the Savé Valley Conservancy, but in Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park too.

We monitor healthy populations of 90-120 adult wild dogs in each protected area (c.25 packs in total), occurring at densities higher than (in Savé Valley Conservancy) and equal to (in Gonarezhou National Park) wild dog densities in other wildlife areas of comparable size. Populations of wild dogs in both areas have remained stable or increasing over the last five years.

Viable populations of African wild dogs remain in only 8 African countries today, and Zimbabwe is one of these key countries. As such, the healthy wild dog populations in Savé Valley Conservancy and Gonarezhou National Park are incredibly important to protect and safeguard, for both the local and global conservation of the species. AWCF works tirelessly to address the major and immediate threats to wild dogs in our study area.

Adopt a Pack

There are only 650 African Wild Dog packs left in the whole world.
Adopt a pack and help save the species from extinction.

The challenges facing African wild dogs are complex and ever constant; including, habitat loss, human persecution, disease (especially rabies), accidental by-catch in wire snares set for bushmeat, loss of prey and competition with larger carnivores like lions. As such, we at AWCF work incredibly hard to timeously address emerging threats, and ensure the persistence of our resident packs. We adopt many different approaches to our work, and use tried and tested measures to ensure African wild dogs do not disappear from the Zimbabwean lowveld!

Our conservation approach includes:

AWCF works closely with the managers and owners of Savé Valley Conservancy, and with our collaborating partners in Gonarezhou National Park to produce meaningful conservation outcomes for wild dogs in our study area. Realising the importance of cross-boundary, large-scale initiatives for the conservation of wide-ranging carnivores, we are also highly active at the regional and international level.