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"Our aim is to create an environment where the dogs can thrive"

Peter Blinston
Managing Director, Painted Dog Conservation

When you work with a most amazing, ancient animal as this one, you can't help but be influenced. We know that the call to conservation succeeds when everyone is involved. Over 20 years' work protecting Painted Dogs has transformed our singular goal to one of inclusion. We now recognize Zimbabwe's wilderness as a borderland between species: the benefits of protecting one affects the quality of life of the other.

Conservation Objectives

PDC began at the outset with three areas of concentration. Find the problems, reduce the problems, and tell others about the problems. But during the daunting task of building something out of nothing in the forests of Zimbabwe, the concerns of the people played into the plight of Painted Dogs.

PDC brings in experts from oversees to help train and develop the staff so that they can carry on this work after we've gone. It's fundamental to encourage our staff to be role models so people can see that there's a future if you get involved with conservation. Motives are everything, and sustainable resource management only works when the real stakeholders are reached. Our successful Education Programs are reaching thousands of people through young children, teenagers, farmers, ranchers and others.

Specific Conservation Efforts

Anti-Poaching Units
The Painted Dog Conservation currently deploys three highly trained and well equipped anti-poaching untis. These units proactively carry out many strategies, including the dismantling of thousands of snares throughout the Gwayi Conservancy, bordering Hwange National Park. We're not only helping the dogs, but the animals, or "bush-meat", which the traps are set for.

Rehabilitation Facility
The rationale behind this is based on the organisations ethos that animals in the wild should not suffer and so where such suffering is identified it should be ameliorated.  Thus a prime objective is to cater for all dogs that need holding while they recover from injuries that they would not be able to cope with in the wild.

Re-introduction Program
In the effort to rebuild weakening gene pools and create healthy packs, PDC oversees the formation of new ones through recovered individuals and orphans. The Starvation Island Program reintroduces them into a wild, overpopulated, and deadly habitat.

Pack Monitoring
Pack monitoring enables the project to identify behavior patterns, hunting success and mortality. It also allows makes landowners aware of the presence of the dogs, allowing them to provide accurate information about the dogs to the project

Map showing painted dog population over history
The estimated population approximately 100 years ago was between 300,000 and 500,000 animals. Today the estimate is some 3,000 animals. The Painted Dog has been wiped out, extirpated, from 25 of the 39 counties in which it formally resided.