Lycaon pictus

African Wild Dog

The African Wild Dog is native to southern and eastern Africa. Characterized by their huge, round ears, which help them lose heat as well as follow pack members, being able to hear vocal signals over long distances.

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Length 76 - 110cm
Weight 17 - 36 Kg
Lifespan 17 years
Diet Ungulates
Habitat Short-grass plains and savannah
Reproduction 8 - 11 cubs
IUCN Red List Status
Not evaluated
Data deficient
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered

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African Wild Dog is a large canid, with long, thin legs and large rounded ears. The colour of his coat is distinct with irregular spots in black, brown and white. Each animal has a unique colour, and can be used to identify individuals. They have four digits on each paw, all with claws. Males are larger than females.



African Wild Dogs are very social animals. The group size is 7-15 adults. They are diurnal, but the group hunts at dawn or dusk, trying to avoid other predators, such as lions and hyenas. They are considered territorial. They rarely enter the central areas of other groups and defend their reach aggressively. They have a complex communication system, including vocalizations, as well as olfactory cues to communicate within the group.



African Wild Dogs are classified as Endangered by the IUCN. They have disappeared from much of their former territory. Its population is currently estimated at 6.600 adults in 39 subpopulations, of which only 1.400 are mature individuals. The population size continues to decline because of continued habitat fragmentation, conflict with human activities and infectious diseases. Since 2007, the Range Wide Conservation Program for Cheetah and African Wild Dogs (RWCP) has been operating across Africa with all countries where Wild Dogs are in the wild. Its objective is to support, coordinate and implement projects, strategies, concepts, and ideas that directly promote the conservation of wild populations of these species.

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