Community & Education: Painted Dog Conservation
The painted dog population in Zimbawe is under threat due to sustained snaring led by farmers concerned for their livestock. The perception of the dog as "pest" means that the painted dog is now Africa's most endangered carnivore and perceptions must be changed if the species is to survive.
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
There are fewer than 5000 painted dogs left in Africa in four countries where their populations are still viable. In Zimbabwe the number of dogs fell to fewer than 400 to the point where extinction was a real possibility. The perception of the dog as a pest and a threat to livestock has led to its persecution. The project aims to shift local opinion in favour of the painted dog in order to protect numbers.
The solution lies with the education of the next generation of farmers, children who are currently still at school. A purpose built bush camp, "iganyana" (the Sindebele word for painted dog) introduces primary school children to the principles of conservation during a three day course, which includes game drives, night walks and a "meet the dogs" session. Around 600 children attend the camp and the intention is to increase capacity to and to reach even more children.
To change the perception of the painted dog within the local communities bordering its territories.
Activities» An educational programme aimed at grade six pupils with a range of conservation-related activities
Success will be measured in terms of numbers of children attending the bush camp and their greater awareness of the plight of the painted dog
Ultimately, this project should lead to a new generation of farmers and ranchers happy to live alongside the painted dog and sympathetic to the region's conservation needs.
Limited funds risk the future of the camp rise as more children wish to participate in the programme and as costs inevitably rise. Marketing the project to as many potential supporters as possible is one way of ensuring that the project's income is maintained.
The Foundation receives regular reports from project staff which then form the basis of updates posted on the Foundation website and recorded in the bi-annual newsletter.
Budget - Project Cost: £10,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £2,000 Staff costs additional support for new children attending bushcamp £3,000 Maintenance costs Upkeep of the bush camp £3,000 Accommodation Lodging and food for additional children £1,500 Edcuational resources Educational materials and supplies £500 Administration Reporting, accounting and communications
The bush camp is located near the Sikumi Forest area bordering the Hwange national park in Zimbabwe. it is an area which has an extensive network of communities many of whom have never had the opportunity to venture inside the park.
Primary school children bordering the national park will be the main beneficiaries. Currently 600 children attend the school each year, but the project aims to increase this number with success in raising additional funds.
The Foundation has worked with the Painted Dog Conservation project since its inception in 1995. The project team's expertise in conservation issues together with their local knowledge have created a centre of excellence which is renowned in the area and beyond.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Peter Blinston is project manager and will coordinate all aspects of the Painted Dog Conservation project.
sends another child to Iganyana