The Edge Of Extinction
African Painted Dogs, also known as African Wild Dogs, are only found in Africa and are among the most endangered species on the continent. It is estimated that only 4,000 remain in the wild.
An urgent threat to the painted dogs' survival is that they are frequently caught in the deadly wire snares set by poachers to catch antelope. Unfortunately, poachers leave these snares on natural animal trails used by antelopes - but these snares don’t discriminate, and painted dogs traveling on the same trails are often trapped. Painted dogs are particularly susceptible to injury or death by snare for they cover miles of ground while hunting. The snare often gets caught around a dog's neck and tightens like a noose, gradually choking and killing the dog - while inflicting miserable suffering. Still more sad, is that when one dog is caught, the rest of its pack comes to rescue it - and many dogs in the same pack are then caught in nearby snares.
Dr. Gregory Rasmussen, Founder of the Painted Dog Research Trust realized that a painted dog he was studying had been caught in a snare - but was saved when the snare caught on the dog’s tracking collar, thus protecting the dog’s neck and allowing it to escape. Dr. Rasmussen wondered if it was possible to improve upon existing tracking collars so that they would also “capture” snares.
Dr. Rasmussen worked with the Houston Zoo and the Painted Dog Protection Initiative to manufacture a prototype anti-snare collar studded with metal clips designed to do just that. The design was optimized through more than 700 trials of domestic dogs wearing the collars, with the final version achieving a 90% rate of effectiveness. In addition to preventing choking, some collars are fitted with a GPS device to allow researchers to monitor their movements - to identify where they are getting caught in snares, and what territory they need for new national parks. Powered by integrated solar panels, these GPS collars can provide valuable information for up to 7 years, and provide protection to the dog for the rest of its life.
ESR and its Partners
Endangered Species Revenge (ESR) is the first wildlife conservation group to produce short films that combine top-notch science, humor and professional animation to teach people about urgent projects to save endangered animals and save coral from climate change.
ESR partners with the world’s top conservation scientists to raise money for their urgent projects. Our scientists lead small to mid-sized grassroots non-profits which spend nearly all of their money on fieldwork, with little overhead, ensuring your donations are working efficiently.
More About Painted Dogs
African Painted Dogs are incredibly social creatures. They live in carefully organized packs in which each dog has a specified job, from hunter to pup babysitter. The dogs rely on each other for survival and are one of the only wild species to care for their sick, old, and wounded. Even more incredible, unlike us - they never fight; neither within packs, nor against other packs. Unfortunately, if an alpha-male or alpha-female is killed by a snare, or enough dogs in one pack are killed by snares - the pack may not survive.
Painted Dogs get their name from their beautiful orange, white and black coat patterns. Each dog’s coat is unique and provides them with exceptional camouflage in their habitat of bushy savanna and short-grass plains of Eastern and Southern Africa.
The population of Painted Dogs has declined from half a million to approximately 4,000 today - making it critically endangered. The species is virtually eradicated from North and West Africa, and greatly reduced in Central and Northeast Africa. Painted Dogs are now concentrated in small areas of Eastern and Southern Africa. One of their last strongholds is in Zimbabwe - where Dr. Rasmussen works.
Our initial goal is to raise $2,500, which would allow Dr. Rasmussen and his team to manufacture and deploy collars for 5 dogs in at-risk painted dog packs in Zimbabwe. Please help us save as many packs as we can.
African Painted Dogs Can Rebound From The Edge Of Extinction. They Just Need A Helping Hand.