African Wild Dog

(Lycaon pictus)

how we can help.

WCS is working in Kenya, Tanzania, and Southern Sudan to conserve African wild dogs and their remaining habitats. Our field conservationists are studying the animals’ requirements and helping local communities and authorities zone lands to accommodate wild dog home ranges and prevent encounters with livestock. WCS is also helping develop ecotourism programs featuring African wild dogs to create a community-based incentive for their conservation.


Fast Facts

Type:MammalDiet:CarnivoreAverage life span in the wild:Up to 11 yearsSize:29.5 to 43 in (75 to 110 cm)Weight:39.5 to 79 lbs (18 to 36 kg)Group name:PackProtection status:EndangeredSize relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:


African wild dogs hunt in formidable, cooperative packs of 6 to 20 (or more) animals. Larger packs were more common before the dogs became endangered. Packs hunt antelopes and will also tackle much larger prey, such as wildebeests, particularly if their quarry is ill or injured. The dogs supplement their diet with rodents and birds
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why endangered

As human settlements expand, the dogs have sometimes developed a taste for livestock, though significant damage is rare. Unfortunately, they are often hunted and killed by farmers who fear for their domestic animals.

African hunting dogs are endangered. They are faced with shrinking room to roam in their African home. They are also quite susceptible to diseases spread by domestic animals.

map and the features

in Africa..... These long-legged canines have only four toes per foot, unlike other dogs, which have five toes on their forefeet. The dog's Latin name means "painted wolf," referring to the animal's irregular, mottled coat, which features patches of red, black, brown, white, and yellow fur. Each animal has its own unique coat pattern, and all have big, rounded ears.


Wild dogs are the second most endangered carnivore (after the Ethiopian wolf) in Africa. They once ranged throughout the savannah, grassland, and open forest areas of sub-Saharan Africa, but viable populations are now found only in fragmented habitats in Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, and parts of Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and the Transvaal. Only 3,000 to 6,000 remain in the wild.