Linyanti Lessons from Bushtracks
Bushtracks Expeditions just sent out these fascinating facts about the wild dogs of the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, located in Botswana:
An African wild dog has the strongest bite, compared to its size, of all carnivores.
Nearly 80 percent of all wild dog hunts end in a kill. The success rate of lions is only 30 percent.
The success of wild dog hunts is due, in part, to their military-like coordination in movement and attack. They use vocal signals to stay in synch.
Some studies point to a wild dog hunting “culture,” passed on from generation to generation. This could be another reason they are such successful hunters: They learn from experience and keep a growing body of hunting techniques within the pack.
There were once approximately 500,000 African wild dogs, sometimes in packs of 100 or more. Now there are only about 5,000.
Wild dogs face competition from larger predators, like lions and hyenas. While there is no question the dogs are better hunters, their kills can be stolen by these larger animals, or lions will sometimes kill African wild dogs to remove the competition.
The biggest threat to the survival of wild dogs is, of course, human activities. Wild dogs roam large areas to hunt, and human overpopulation fractures these territories and severely limits their hunting style. Most of the national parks of Africa are too small to support wild dog hunting, so the dogs spill out into ranch land. Fearing for their livelihood, many cattle ranchers kill the dogs on site.
You can see these and many other wildlife wonders of Botswana on Bushtracks’ Botswana Safari in the Kalahari and Okavango Delta. For more information on the trip, click here.