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Anthropogenic factors affecting wild dog Lycaon pictus reintroductions: a case study in Zimbabwe

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 February 2004

Harriet T. Davies
Affiliation:
Tropical Resource Ecology Programme, University of Zimbabwe, P.O Box MP 167, Harare, Zimbabwe Present address: Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3PS, UK
Johan T. du Toit
Affiliation:
Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
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Abstract

In 1997 a pack of African wild dogs Lycaon pictus was reintroduced to Matusadona National Park in north-western Zimbabwe. Here we use this case study to consider anthropogenic factors likely to affect the success of wild dog reintroductions in southern Africa. Potential wild dog–human conflict was investigated using a questionnaire, administered to communal farmers near the Park, that recorded the incidence of livestock predation, snaring, traditional uses and attitudes of local people towards wild dogs. Predation on livestock was negligible, with wild dogs being responsible for <2% of goat losses to wild predators. Twenty-four different traditional uses for wild dogs and their body parts were described by 54% of survey respondents. Less than 25% of survey respondents were aware of the reintroduction, and only 20% felt positive about it. Recommendations for future wild dog reintroductions include before-and-after public relations and education programmes in neighbouring communities, monitoring to determine actual causes and rates of post-release wild dog mortality and vaccination against canid diseases.

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Articles
Copyright
2004 Fauna & Flora International

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Davies Supplementary material

Davies Appendix

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