Thursday, 17 September 2009

Wild Dogs and the next step

As most of you know the wild dog pack that are in the blue canyon conservancy and are being monitored by ResearchCam's webcam have moved from their den site. The last time WE saw them was on Monday 7th September and since then they have been seen on the move. However a few days ago WE heard that they have found a new den site four and a half kilometres from the old one. They are all well and happy and the ten pups are doing fine. Although this is obviously a big relief for us all Will Fox who owns ResearchCam has decided that moving the trailer into the new den site is unwise. They need to be allowed to settle in this den without any disturbances and so the decision has been made to leave them. Also, the collective belief is that they are unlikely to stay long at the den site as the pups are already quite big and soon they will reach an age where they no longer need a den and they will be off. Wild dogs do not generally den they spend most of their life on the run. However, when they have pups they need to have a den to keep the puppies safe.
Tim Parker who is the head Ecologist at The Blue Canyon Conservancy has written a short note which I have attached below.
"It has been a great privilege having had the web cam located at our wild dog den. Many thousands of viewers have enjoyed hours of entertainment through this medium. The dogs relocated to a new den site around the 7th September some 5 km south of the original den. All ten pups appear to be well and healthy. The pack is still intact and it will be interesting to monitor the packs dynamics as time goes on. A large number of their kills have been picked up on our Eastern fence line, comprising mostly impala and kudu. We will continue monitoring them. We would like to thank Graham Wallington and Will Fox for their efforts and financial input into this venture and overall to the conservation and preservation of one of Africa’s most endangered carnivores".
Peter Braat has removed the trailer from the den site this morning and he is going to do a bit of work on it and take it back to Djuma. ResearchCam and WildEarth are now both working together to find a new site. There is a possibility of it going into one of a few hyena dens in the area or perhaps another waterhole. It is a perfect time for waterholes as the bush is incredibly dry and so the density of animals at waterholes is high. WE will continue to work on this and keep you posted.
Written by Emily Wallington

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