African Wild Dog


  • Status
  • Population
  • 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.

Carnivore collaring in Zambia helps protect wildlife and communities

In an effort to better understand large carnivores like lions and wild dogs, scientists in Zambia use radio collars to track their movements, distribution, and behavior. The more we know about these umbrella species, the better we can protect them and mitigate human-wildlife conflict with the communities they share land with.

A close up look at an adult lioness standing behind tall tan grasses


  • Population 1,409
  • Extinction Risk Endangered
    1. EX

      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

      Facing a high risk of extinction in the Wild

    5. VU

      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.

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