They're intelligent, live in a unique social hierarchy and are important predators in their ecosystems. Can the highly endangered African wild dog be saved?
Project aim: To maintain the population of African wild dogs in Zimbabwe
Project partners: Lowveld Wild Dog Project / African Wildlife Conservation Fund
Project area: Save Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe, which covers 750,000 acres (304,000 hectares) and is one of Africa's largest private wildlife reserves
Project budget: Approx $200,000 (€173,000) yearly
African wild dogs are among Africa's most endangered predators — only 6,000-7,000 still roam the continent. The pack hunters require space, which is steadily shrinking as human populations grow. The dogs are also at risk from poacher traps and rabies passed on by domesticated animals.
The shrinking populations of wild dogs means there are fewer of them to help regulate populations of herbivores such as antelopes, that impact local vegetation. The animals are also highly intelligent and live in complex social structures.
The Save Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe is one of the few safe spaces for the dogs. Conservationists there are trying to save the remaining animals, even in times of political and economic chaos in the country.
A film by Jürgen Schneider