African wild dogs impacted by climate change

Earlier this year the journal Scientific American reported that African wild dogs are losing pups to a climate adaption ‘trap’ as the breeding season has shifted by 22 days, resulting in fewer pups surviving their first year. After analyzing 30 years of demographic data and field observations in Botswana  the 22-day shift in their birthing season is reported to be triggered by a shrinking cool season.

At the El Paso Zoo and Botanical Gardens we have 4 endangered male wild dogs. They were born at the Oklahoma City Zoo in 2015 and are all from the same litter. As conservation ambassadors for their species they have inspired the Zoo’s Conservation Committee to support efforts to save wild dogs by funding conservation efforts in Zimbabwe.

According to the IUCN Redlist the population in the wild was decreasing and there were an estimated population of only 1,409 wild dogs across Africa. To learn more about the challenges faced in saving this species and more you can read the Redlist page for wild dogs.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species, also known as the IUCN Red List or Red Data Book, founded in 1964, is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species.

Photos
Cover – Aftab Uzzaman, Wikimedia Creative Commons
Top – Art G, Wikimedia Creative Commons
Bottom – Mathias Appel, Wikimedia Creative Commons

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