Beams of light cut through darkness as people stand by a row of transport crates, preparing to open them. When they pull up the side panels, three dogs with mottled coats and white-tipped tails slip out into the darkness. A fourth stays in his crate, resting his head on the floor, but he gazes ahead with wide, alert eyes. These animals are just a few of the 14 African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), also known as painted wolves, recently released in Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve in southern Malawi, where the endangered species hasn’t been seen in about 20 years. In the western part of Malawi, however, experts say there may be a small population. In Malawi, as in other parts of Africa, these wild canines have fallen victim to zoonotic diseases, bushmeat hunting, as well as deliberate shootings and poisoning by livestock farmers. The animals are also commonly run over by vehicles as residential and commercial developments take over their habitat. There’s also new research showing that African wild dogs are struggling to cope with the rising heat due to human-induced climate change. The dogs being released into their temporary boma to acclimatize after translocation. Image by Matt Moon. It’s estimated there are only about 6,600 African wild dogs, including 700 breeding pairs, left on the entire African continent. “The African Wild Dog is one of the most endangered mammals on the continent, facing significant threats almost across its remaining range,” Angela Gaylard, head of science support…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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