The Waterberg Wild Dogs Conservation Project.
As with most landowners, when the news was announced that the African Wild Dogs were spotted in the area, there was a mix of elation and panic. Elation as it was rumored that this last pack died out and the news confirmed that this critically endangered pack was still alive and panic due to the misconception that they only bring destruction wherever they are found. As game farmers, any major threat to local game is an unwelcome element and cannot be tolerated. Unfortunately, the African Wild Dogs negative reputation precedes it and has been a leading factor in their number’s decline.
This misconception is mainly due to misunderstanding and most importantly misinformation. Following the news that the pack had denned and were ready to have pups, the landowners collectively engaged with the Endangered Wildlife Trust to find out more about these Wild Dogs and if their reputation was cause for concern. After having been presented with all of the information as well as the importance of this specific pack, members within the Waterberg Biosphere area decided to stand together and protect this critically endangered species. Through this process, the Waterberg Wild Dogs Conservation Project was launched.
“The survival of the unique Waterberg Wild Dogs can only be ensured through the support of local land owners as well as the community. Without their ‘buy in’, the Waterberg Wild Dogs and even the African Wild Dogs species as a whole have no chance of survival.”
The Waterberg Wild Dogs Conservation Project is driven and designed to protect the Waterberg Wild Dog, land owner as well as the local game and environment. The project strives to promote and protect these Painted Wolves of the Waterberg, as they are affectionately referred to, and to negotiate safe passage with local landowners to ensure that they can remain wild-roaming (as no other pack in South Africa has this privilege) as well as to promote local ecotourism in the area. Through this initiative we strive to change the perception of these magical and mysterious animals and show that this model can be implemented to boost the local economy, grow tourism, create jobs and most importantly conserve and grow the African Wild Dogs’ population.
Although this is a local community driven project, we see all conservationists, nature lovers and organizations as a part of a wold-wide community and as such we need your help! Donate, spread the word and help us reverse the fate of the last remaining Waterberg Wild Dogs.