Earlier this month, (1 November 2021,) African Parks, in partnership with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), successfully translocated three African wild dogs to Liuwa Plain National Park. The return of this endangered species to Liuwa Plain is aimed at conserving the species in this extraordinary Zambian landscape. Read more about this successful translocation below…

Image by Lorenz Fischer

Via African Parks:

“Zambia is one of only six remaining countries considered as strongholds for wild dogs on the entire continent. The return of this endangered species to Liuwa Plain forms part of the National Wild Dog Plan, enabling the government to conserve healthy populations of wild dogs,” said Dr Chuma Simukonda, Director of National Parks and Wildlife. Dr Chuma Simukonda said the Government of Zambia is committed to conserving its exceptional national parks and investing in their potential to contribute meaningfully to economic development and the quality of life among communities, as well as the protection of Zambia’s outstanding biodiversity.

There are only around 6,600 wild dogs and just about 700 breeding pairs left on the continent. This is mainly due to habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, indiscriminate snare trapping and diseases like rabies and canine distemper. Upon arrival at Liuwa Plain, the carnivores were released into a purpose-built temporary boma where they will remain for up to eight weeks to facilitate social bonding as they establish a new pack and to acclimatize prior to their release into the wider park landscape. The wild dogs have been fitted with satellite collars to enable the continuous monitoring of their location and habitat use and to ensure their protection.  This initial group of females will be supplemented with additional male wild dogs in the coming weeks.

In 2003, African Parks entered into a long-term agreement with the Zambian Government and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) to manage Liuwa Plain and revitalise the park. “We have worked in close partnership with the DNPW and the Barotse Royal Establishment for 18 years to enhance Liuwa Plain’s ability to generate benefits for people and wildlife. Thanks to the Zambian Government and the BRE’s commitment to this landscape, Liuwa has emerged as a park not only hailed for the recovery of its wildlife numbers, but for its international tourism appeal. The reintroduction of wild dogs is a key milestone in this process of restoration, helping to build a valuable natural asset for Zambia and a future for this iconic species in Africa” said James Milanzi, African Parks’ Regional Director of Conservation.