With extreme heat, African wild dogs are dying at a higher rate, according to scientists. New research, published in Ecology and Evolution in June, found that humans are responsible for nearly half of all African wild dog deaths and that human-caused climate change is adding to the burden. “At high temperatures, the dogs had higher mortality rates. When the previous 90 days had been hotter, they were more likely to die,” said lead researcher Daniella Rabaiotti of the Zoological Society of London’s Institute of Zoology. Forty-four percent of all African wild dog deaths over the course of the study could be directly linked to humans, consisting of intentional killings, snare traps, road fatalities, and disease transmission from domestic dogs. The remaining deaths were naturally caused, consisting of inner-species fighting, death killing by other predators, and injuries sustained while hunting. African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) are the second most endangered carnivorous species in Africa, with fewer than 700 breeding pairs remaining and their range down to just 7% of their historic extent. (Ethiopian wolves, Canis simensis, are the most endangered carnivores.) A collared and an uncollared African wild dog interact. Image courtesy of Helen O’Neill/DICE/University of Kent. To conduct the study on African wild dogs’ mortality, Rabaiotti and her research team attached GPS collars to populations of the dogs in Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe. The collars would alert researchers to a potential death by emitting a specific signal when stationary for more than four hours. Researchers found that in both Botswana…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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