The Waterberg Wild Dog Initiative partners with The Aspinall Foundation

The Waterberg Wild Dog Initiative (WWDI) and The Aspinall Foundation are happy to announce that a GPS tracking collar was placed on a free-roaming African wild dog pack within the Waterberg District, Limpopo. This collar represents one of two collars donated to WWDI by the Aspinall Foundation to be deployed on free-roaming wild dogs within the Waterberg.

African wild dogs are a globally endangered species, with less than 5000 remaining in the wild. In South Africa, there are less than 450 known dogs, making them South Africa’s rarest carnivore. In order to protect them, it is crucial that communities come together and conserve land within their ranges where the dogs will be protected. The wild dogs in the Waterberg Biosphere are free-roaming and range into unprotected lands, often facing severe threats to their well-being. WWDI endeavors to conserve free-roaming African wild dogs within the Waterberg by working together with the community to decrease human-wildlife conflict, increase local tolerance, and foster a sustainable environment. These tracking collars enable the initiative to monitor the pack’s movements and notify community members, providing an early-warning system for landowners as the pack moves through private lands.

The Aspinall Foundation is a UK based charity that is devoted to the conservation of endangered species and returning them to wild protected areas. The Aspinall Foundation believes animals belong in the wild, in their natural habitat and not in captivity.

On the morning of Saturday, January 23rd, WWDI and The Aspinall Foundation placed the tracking collar on a healthy, adult male wild dog temporarily residing on the Tholo Bush Lodge, between Vaalwater and Lephalale. This pack comprises 11 dogs, including 4 adults and 7 juveniles born in 2020. This is the second tracking collar to be placed on this pack and will solidify WWDI’s capacity to reliably monitor the pack’s movements.

This successful collaring could not have been possible without the generosity of The Aspinall
 Foundation and the assistance of veterinarian, Andy Fraser, helicopter pilot, Lambert van der Westhuizen of West Dunes Aviation, Derek van der Merwe of the Endangered Wildlife Trust, and community members: Peet Hennig and Graeme Stander of Tswana Lodge and James Higgs of Tholo Bush Lodge. The second tracking collar provided by The Aspinall Foundation will be placed on an additional free-roaming wild dog pack in the Waterberg as soon as possible. WWDI is relying on landowners to report sightings of wild dogs in order to achieve this.

For more information about the Waterberg Wild Dog Initiative, to report a sighting, or to inquire about the movements of the pack, please contact WWDI Project Coordinator Reilly Mooney at waterbergwilddoginitiative@gmail.com.

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