wild dog

African Painted Dog Conservation

Due to habitat loss which has in turn displaced the animals and spurred human-wildlife conflict, African painted dog populations are declining. Located in Zimbabwe, Painted Dog Research Trust (PDRT) is an organization that studies African painted dogs (Lycaon pictus) and their interactions with humans to assist local communities to be better able to co-exist with these predators. Part of PDRT’s mission is making the Kazungula Road safer for the endangered painted dogs. This road is the main transit way for east to west travel through the Zambezi National Park in northern Zimbabwe, and is used by many, including commercial trucks. For painted dogs, Kazungula Road bisects integral territory needed to hunt and find dens for pups, so they often get hit by vehicles as they try to cross the road.


To combat wildlife-vehicle collisions, PDRT has worked with The Living Desert and Zimbabwe Republic Police to enforce the speed limit of 80kph (about 50mph). Additionally, the teams distributed pamphlets listing possible animal species that could be encountered on the road along with what to do in case an animal is hit. In Zimbabwe, it is not illegal to hit an animal, but failure to properly report the incident is illegal. Nonetheless, many drivers still do not report the occurrence. With these efforts, along with enhanced Zimbabwe Republic Police reinforcement, the African painted dog stands a much better chance at recovering from its endangered status.

For many organizations, studying animals in their natural habitat by setting up trail cameras — often called “camera traps” — is the ideal way to observe and gather data for monitoring wildlife activity. Gathering and sorting through camera trap data is time and resource consuming due to the significant number of images. PDRT has shared over 20,000 images with The Living Desert, and the team has been able to assist with data processing. Our numerous volunteers go through all the images, record what’s present in the image, and help manage all the data. This information is then sent back to the researchers who own the camera traps and PDRT as quantifiable information they can use to inform conservation efforts.
painted dog

Your contribution aids crucial conservation projects like the African Painted Dog Conservation efforts, directly supporting initiatives that enhance coexistence between wildlife and communities and improve the safety and survival of these unique animals. Donate now to make a difference.

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