Achievements to date include:
Anti Poaching Units:
• PDC employs 15 men, who carry out anti poaching patrols on a daily basis throughout the Gwayi Conservancy. Since the first of these units was deployed in August 2001 they have collected over 20,000 snares!
• Conservative estimates indicate that 10% of snares kill. Thus over 2,000 animals lives have been saved at a value to the landowners of some US$ 700,000.00
• The Zimbabwean National population has grown from 400-450 in 1987 to around 750. This has not occurred elsewhere in Africa during the same period.
• Working closely with ranchers, we have secured a cease-fire in a number of areas, consequently dogs are re-colonising areas where they have not been seen for over 50 years.
Reduction of mortality:
• Road signs have been erected to alert motorists to the presence of dogs and packs that utilise the main roads are fitted with retro-reflective collars. These measures have reduced road mortality by half.
• Anti-snare plates are incorporated in the collars and many individuals have survived after being caught in snares, thus maintaining the integrity of a number of packs.
• The development of humane, non-invasive capture techniques has enabled us to relocate whole family units from sensitive farming areas, without harm to the dogs.
• PDC has successfully lobbied for the species to be given special protection under the Parks and Wildlife Act and has been successful in securing the only prosecution against an individual for shooting a painted dog.
• The rationale behind this is based on the organisation's ethos that animals in the wild should not suffer and so, where such suffering is identified, it should be ameliorated. The facility boasts a main enclosure, 600m in diameter, a 100m in diameter medium term enclosure and a small intensive management enclosure (20m x 4m). All three areas are linked via a series of raceways to facilitate the movement of individuals with minimum handling.
• In the effort to rebuild weakening gene pools and create healthy packs, PDC oversees the formation of new ones through recovered individuals and orphans, which are then released into the wild.
Children's Bush Camp:
• Since 2004, nineteen primary schools that border Hwange National Park have been targeted for an annual, free of charge residential programme for Year 6 students, which reaches 1000 children a year.
• PDC has established Conservation Clubs at the local schools as an extension of the successful Children’s Bush Camp programme, the clubs undertake both practical and theoretical exercises such as tree planting, clean up campaigns, drama and poetry performances, which benefit their communities at large and further enhance and appreciation for and understanding of the environment.
Community Development / Outreach
• Iganyana Arts Centre: The Centre provides an income generating opportunity for an average of 25 artisans each day, who make unique crafts from reclaimed and recycled materials, including wire from snares removed from the bush by our Anti-poaching Units.
• Community Gardens: The aim is to improve nutrition and food security.
• PDC provides direct funding for or facilitates the drilling of bore holes to provide clean reliable water for communities, which in turns allows for the establishment of nutritional gardens.
• PDC facilitates the establishment of income generating projects such as bee keeping, chilli growing and the garden projects mentioned above, with the aim of improving the livelihoods of individuals and their families alike.
• HIV/AIDS. PDC arranges for and supports St Patricks Hospital, to establish monthly counselling and testing clinics for our staff and the surrounding communities, to encourage people to live a healthier life style.
• PDC sponsors the local soccer league to engage the area's youth in a meaningful, motivational and healthy pursuit.
CCEC Visitor Centre:
• The Painted Dog Interpretive Hall, free to the public, teaches visitors about the greater Hwange ecosystem, the plight of the painted dog and how they can help, through a series of artistic, informative and interactive stations.