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Wild Dogs Return to Zambia’s Liuwa Plains

2 min read

Updated 01 December 2021

Picture of Chris McIntyre

By Chris McIntyre

Managing Director

*A version of this article originally appeared in the December 2021 Bush Telegraph newsletter. You can read our recent newsletters and sign-up to receive these in your inbox on our Bush Telegraph newsletter page.

There are only 6,600 wild dogs left in Africa, a figure which includes around 700 breeding pairs. Habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, indiscriminate use of snares and diseases like rabies and canine distemper have all played a part in their demise. Zambia is one of only six countries with strong, viable populations.

The recent translocation of three female wild dogs (with a male set to join them imminently), from Kafue National Park to the magnificent Liuwa Plain, is part of the country’s ‘National Wild Dog Plan’. It is an opportunity to re-establish a population here, a key milestone on the road to restoring healthy populations of wild dogs across Zambia, helping to secure the future of this iconic species.

Once the vast hunting ground of the King of Barotseland, Liuwa Plain National Park is a wild and remote wilderness in Zambia’s Western Province. Its vast, sweeping grasslands, stretching to the horizon across some 1,400 square miles, are perfect wild dog territory. These are wide-open hunting grounds, broken only by the occasional shady tree-island, with herbivores in their thousands during the rains. Perennial shallow pans of water support the wildlife whilst a team led by the respected African Parks non-profit organisation protects and monitors it.

Initiatives like this – moving healthy wild dogs to secure parks, and monitoring their location and habitat use – are vital to the long-term survival of the species. The wild dogs in this translocation are all fitted with satellite collars to enable their continual monitoring. We look forward to tracking this new pack’s success over years to come.

See Expert Africa’s Puku Safari for an example of one possible trip, which includes the wild, expansive grasslands of Liuwa Plain National Park – a paradise for bird-watchers and wilderness lovers alike.

If you’ve been inspired and want to find out more, give us a call or enquire now to speak to an expert.

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