Conservation and Endangered African Wild Dogs (Lycaon pictus) in Western Tanzania: A Call for Research and Action
AbstractÂ The African wild dog is among the most endangered carnivores. Yet, the remaining populations are small and patchily distributed as a result of factors like human persecution, poaching, diseases, habitat loss, loss of prey and competition from other predators. Regrettably, research has paid little attention to the effectiveness of local conservation measures in tackling these challenges in some small wild dog populations especially in east African ecosystems. This paper focuses on the Ugalla ecosystem of western Tanzania as it outlines the pressing conservation need to conduct research and explore the influence of anti-poaching patrols and participatory conservation on the prey abundance and habitat availability for African wild dogs. Wildlife poaching in Ugalla is likely to bring about local prey depletion. Furthermore, unsustainable agricultural practices, illegal settlements and logging are important causes of wildlife habitat loss. There is a critical need for wildlife researchers to address these challenges and put forth handy recommendations in the context of antipoaching measures and participatory conservation owing to the urgency of wild dog protection and the fact that the species is wide-ranging.Â Â
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