Zimbabwe is a land of exorbitant inflation, where bush-meat is a very real source of income and poaching threatens all wildlife. But the Painted Dog is especially susceptible over less mobile animals. They average in excess of 12 miles a day as they hunt, increasing the likelihood of an encounter with a deadly snare.
PDC currently deploys three highly trained and well equipped anti-poaching units, who work in collaboration with the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority. They carry out anti-poaching patrols on a daily basis throughout the Gwayi Conservancy bordering Hwange National Park. Since the first of these units was deployed in August 2001, they have collected well over 10,000 snares. Had the snares gone untouched, it would mean approximately one thousand animals killed.
As a direct consequence of this work, poaching activity in the region is under reasonable control.
The boundary region of Hwange National Park (HNP) is now one of the worst areas for poaching. The lack of resources available to the newly formed Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority, contributes to the dire situation that exists today. In areas such as Dete, Ngamo and Tchotcholo, there is unrestricted access and poachers move unhindered, without fear deep inside the National Park.
It cannot be overstated that this concerted effort must remain in place. For the Painted Dog family system, as obligate co-operators, one individual missing means one less Dog to hunt. One less to defend the pups against aggressors. One life that can make the difference between a pack surviving or disintegrating into dysfunctional units.
Anti Poaching Patrol release wildebeest
Watch the video below to see PDC's anti poaching unit release a wildebeest that is caught in a snare.