Toggle Nav

African Wild Dog

Overview

  • Status
    Endangered
  • Population
    estimated at 3,000–5,500
  • Scientific Name
    Lycaon pictus
  • Height
    30 inches
  • Weight
    40-70 pounds
  • Length
    30-56 inches
  • Habitats
    Deserts, Forests, Grasslands

The wild dog is one of the world’s most endangered mammals. The largest populations remain in southern Africa and the southern part of East Africa (especially Tanzania and northern Mozambique).

Wild dogs are social and gather in packs of around ten individuals, but some packs number more than 40. They are opportunistic predators that hunt medium-sized ruminants, such as gazelles. In a sprint, African wild dogs can reach speeds of more than 44 miles per hour.

Calling KAZA Home: The Animals of Southern Africa

The Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) crosses five southern African countries and protects 109 million acres of land. The breadth and variety of wildlife in KAZA is astounding.

hippo in water

Threats

  • Population estimated at 3,000–5,500
  • Extinction Risk Endangered
    1. EX
      Extinct

      No reasonable doubt that the last individual has died

    2. EW
      Extinct in the Wild

      Known only to survive in cultivation, in captivity or as a naturalised population

    3. CR
      Critically Endangered

      Facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the Wild

    4. EN
      Endangered

      Facing a high risk of extinction in the Wild

    5. VU
      Vulnerable

      Facing a high risk of extinction in the Wild

    6. NT
      Near Threatened

      Likely to qualify for a threatened category in the near future

    7. LC
      Least Concern

      Does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable, or Near Threatened

African Wild Dog

Major threats to the survival of wild dogs include accidental and targeted killings by humans, viral diseases like rabies and distemper, habitat loss and competition with larger predators like lions. Conflicts occur when wild dogs come in contact with people whose livelihoods rest largely on livestock and agriculture. Problems arise when expanding human activities decrease the habitat for available prey for wild dogs.

What WWF Is Doing

African Wild Dog Pack

Creation of protected areas and protection of major wildlife corridors benefit species such as the African wild dog. In southern Tanzania and northern Mozambique, WWF works to protect important wildlife corridors between major game reserves. We also work to reduce conflict with humans.

Experts

Related Species

xShare Your Thoughts!

Just 10 minutes of your time can help improve our site! Answer a few quick questions and you can help us make worldwildlife.org better.

Start SurveyClose this box