To get an understanding of the threats to the Painted Dogs we have been out with the Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) for a mornings patrol. When PDC was first set up, so many of the dogs were being trapped in illegal snares set out in the bush around the fringes and also within the National Park. Snares have been used for centuries as a hunting aid but the traditional methods were very different to what we see today. The free availability of fencing wire from long abandoned field boundaries has resulted in hundreds of death traps left out in the bush. The APU patrol huge areas around the PDC centre and the park boundaries removing snares and capturing poachers. The area we patrolled with them is close to the centre and has been free of snares for some time now as the poachers know they operate in this area but they also deployed further afield where poaching is still rife. Read the full story on Steve's Blog >
The last few days have been very eventful. Seeing the huge amount of amazing work that goes on here is phenomenal. One of the flagship programs of Painted Dog Conservation (PDC) is its Bushcamp. All the local primary schools get a free 3-4 day residential trip to learn about wildlife, conservation and the environment.The highlight of their stay is the game drive. For most if not all of these children it is the first time they have ever been inside the national park that is on their doorstep and a chance to see the amazing wildlife that lives there. Seeing the excitement on their faces as they witness elephants bathing or giraffe feeding was fantastic. Read the full article on Stev's Blog >>
Steve Leonard sends his first report from Zimbabwe where he is assisting local veterinarians in a crucial vaccination programme for domestic dogs in the local communities bordering the Painted Dog Conservation project in Hwange National Park. "I am totally shattered. The last four days have been a whirlwind. In a joint venture between Painted Dog Conservation, Wildlife Vets International and the government vets from Hwange we have vaccinated around 800 dogs against rabies and distemper (we even saw a few cats for rabies vaccination). We set up our tables out in the bush and waited for out first patients. Pretty soon a small party of smiling chaps waltzed out of the thicket circled by packs of 'dingo' like dogs. Left to their own devices in such hard conditions, natural selection tends to result in medium-build, hardy crossbreeds like these. Pampered pedigrees wouldn't last a week out here. I had no idea how we were going to manage the twenty or so dogs that rocked up in the first wave but the government veterinary assistants got busy with the vaccines, worming and de-fleaing while the vets got stuck into seeing any with any illness or injuries with the PDC staff preparing syringes, translating, recording names and generally keeping it all flowing. By the time we were halfway through this first lot the next wave hit us and it was plain we were going to be busy . . . " Read the full story on Steve's Blog >
PDC UK is delighted to have a stall at Tusk Trust’s annual American Express Conservation Lecture at the Royal Geographical Society, London on 15th November. The theme for this year’s talk will be ‘Africa’s Poaching Crisis’ with guest speakers Ian Craig and Steve Trent, and PDC UK’s snare wire sculptures will therefore be extremely appropriate. Learn more on the TUSK website.
PDC UK will be having a stall of snare wire and beaded wildlife sculptures at Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s annual Animal Action Day on 14th July showing their support for all that YWP does in raising funds and awareness of painted dogs in the wild. Please do come and join us. Visit the Yorkshire Wildlife Park website for more details.