Wednesday, February 12, 2014

African Lycaon Pictus Dog

 African Lycaon Pictus Dog

Lycaon pictus is a canid found only in Africa, especially in savannas and lightly wooded areas. It is variously called the African wild dog, African hunting dog, Cape hunting dog, painted dog, painted wolf, painted hunting dog, spotted dog, or ornate wolf.The home range of packs varies depending on the size of the pack and the nature of the terrain. In the Serengeti, the average dog density  was one dog per 208 km 2 whereas in the Selous Game Reserve, the average density was one dog every 25 km 2. However, the population density in the Serengeti as late as 1970 was as high as one dog per 35 km2  before falling to one in 200 km 2  in 1977. Their preferred habitat in the Serengeti is deciduous woodlands because of large prey herd size, lack of competition from other carnivores, and better sites for denning. In the Serengeti, the average range has been estimated at 1,500 square kilometres although individual ranges overlap extensively.Once, about 500,000 African wild dogs existed in 39 countries, and packs of 100 or more were not uncommon. This range once included Egypt and parts of the Sahara Desert.Now, only about 3,000-5,500 are found in fewer than 25 countries or perhaps only 14 countries. They are primarily found in eastern and southern Africa, mostly in the two remaining large populations associated with the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania and the population centered in northern Botswana and eastern Namibia. Smaller but apparently secure populations of several hundred individuals are found in Zimbabwe South Africa  and in the Ruaha/Rungwa/Kisigo complex of Tanzania. Isolated populations persist in Zambia, Kenya, and Mozambique.

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