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Wild dogs in the Kruger

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Wild dogs in the Kruger

Postby stobi_de » 23 Mar 2015 14:08

had luck some weeks ago, not with my car, but with dogs :blonde:

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Re: Wild dogs in the Kruger

Postby ricster » 23 Mar 2015 14:49

hahaha.... you must be happy it wasn't the laughing hyena having a laugh at you bad luck... :lol: :lol:...... I'm sure your luck will change soon !!!

That is a fantastic photo !!!
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Re: Wild dogs in the Kruger

Postby Peter Connan » 23 Mar 2015 17:46

Nice!
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Re: Wild dogs in the Kruger

Postby Herrie » 24 Mar 2015 06:57

We did not see them two weeks ago there!
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Re: Wild dogs in the Kruger

Postby Tinus lotz » 24 Mar 2015 19:47

I saw a pack in the kalahari .....we were on foot ....they killed a kudu 20m in front of us .....they are great at what they do :thumbup:
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Re: Wild dogs in the Kruger

Postby Alex Roux » 24 Mar 2015 22:27

The most successful predator among mammals, 80% success rate
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Re: Wild dogs in the Kruger

Postby Peter Connan » 25 Mar 2015 17:55

I must say their continued rarity is something I have never really understood. As Alex said, they are super effective. They also have strong family bonds, and good breeding strategies (only the alpha pair breed, but the whole pack helps with the rearing) and large litters.

I understand that they have been heavily persecuted in non-game-reserve areas, but this does not explain why they remain so scarce now.

I have seen them only twice, once in the camp at Savuti.
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Re: Wild dogs in the Kruger

Postby Alex Roux » 25 Mar 2015 21:22

They breed easily in captivity and reintroduction into reserves is also very successful.

So the answer to the riddle, I think, has to do with the pack size:
The behaviour of Wildogs are characterised by their reliance on 'helpers'. This includes cooperative hunting, defence from competitors for their prey (hyenas), pup feeding and baby-sitting. Because of this there is a strong positive correlation between pack size and the production and survival of pups. Consequently, a pack in which membership drops below a critical size may be caught in a positive feedback loop: poor reproduction and low survival further reduce pack size, culminating in failure of the whole pack (source: "Crucial importance of pack size in the African wild dog" - Courchamp & Macdonald, 2000).

I have seen a small group of four, after being reintroduced from breeding in the Madikwe reserve (that was 2001). This is a guided only reserve (no self-drive). The ranger at the time said that particular pack used to be 5 (adults only). Based on the above paper, I would think their chances of successfully increasing in numbers would have been small. So this poses the challenge of only reintroducing them to reserves once a sufficiently large pack size is reached in breeding. I do not know if this is actually being practised though.
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Re: Wild dogs in the Kruger

Postby Peter Connan » 26 Mar 2015 05:58

MAybe that's the answer, because it would also mean that youngsters could not leave a pack to start a new one and the pack size is probably limited to the "carrying capacity" of their home range...

Thanks ALex
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