The African Wild Dog

By Tara Luczak

Background Information:

The Lycaon pictus, more commonly known as the African Wild Dog, is found in coastal East Africa. It likes to live in desert, grassland, and forested areas, and usually travels in large packs instead of traveling around by itself. These dogs are usually about 30 inches in height and between 40 and 70 pounds, so basically they are about the size of a household dog.
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The Way the African Wild Dog Interacts with Other Animals:

The wild dog often compete with other African animals such as the lion for food, land, etc. They are carnivorous animals, so they often hunt the livestock of the people who live in the same areas. This can lead to the Dogs being killed by the owners, because they are trying to protect their livestock.

Is the African Wild Dog Endangered, Threatened, or Invasive? How Did it Become this Way?

The African wild dog has about 3,000 - 5,000 left, causing it to be endangered. Some of the reasons are caused by humans, and some are natural causes. The natural causes are competition with other animals like lions, and diseases like distemper. Humans also affect the population of the Dogs, because they are hunted when they stalk livestock, and humans are also moving into their limited habitat areas. Also, they keep about 10 - 40 'members' in their packs, but if their numbers fall below, they may not be able to reproduce, and this will threaten their safety. All of these things are causing the population to decrease.

The Carrying Capacity of the African Wild Dog

The carrying capacity is shown in the picture below. The population was increasing, but then reached a point where it started to decrease quickly. This decrease could have been caused by habitat loss, not just because of the growing human population in those areas, but also because of their own population, etc. Picture comes from http://www.landrovercenturion.co.za/sponsorships/EWT.
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Future of the African Wild Dog?

Right now, it is endangered, and it is possible that it will continue to decrease, until it becomes extinct. There are some organizations such as WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) that are trying to help this species. They are helping by creating protected areas for the Dogs, and by trying to lessen the conflict between the dogs and humans. People can also help by adopting Wild Dogs, or donating to this organization. The survival of this species is not just dependent on humans, but also on diseases and the competition. This species may or may not be able to survive, and many things affect this. The picture below shows a group of African Wild Dogs from https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/african-wild-dog.
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And Now... A Quick Review!

1. Question: What is the African Wild Dog classified as according to the food web above?

A: Secondary consumer

B: Producer

C: Decomposer

D: Primary Consumer


2. Question: Where are the African Wild Dogs mostly located?

A: Coastal West Africa

B: Inland West Africa

C: Coastal East Africa

D: All over Africa


3. Question: According to the food chain above, how much energy does the African Wild Dog get from the grass?

A: 1%

B: 10%

C: .001%

D: All


4. Question: About how many of the African Wild Dog are still around?

A: 300,000 - 500,00

B: 3,000 - 5,000

C: 300 - 500

D: 30,000 - 50,000


5. Question: True or False: The African wild Dog is the second most endangered mammal in the world?


Answers Below!

Answers:

1. Answer: A

2. Answer: C

3. Answer: A

4. Answer: B

5. Answer: False