IRINGA AFRICAN HUNTING DOG PROJECT

Conservation and protection of Wild Dog through action and Education.

Geographic region: The project will be carried out in all 19 villages surrounding Ruaha National Park. The villages are located in Idodi and Pawaga divisions, Iringa district. This area is known as the Lunda-Mkwambi Game Controlled area.

Aim of the project: Is to conserve the Wild Hunting Dogs in Ruaha National Park through education to the communities and schools surrounding the park.


The Ruaha National Park is located in the southern part of Tanzania covering an area of 10,200 square kilometers. The park is surrounded by vast areas of wilderness. Like other National Parks in Tanzania it is a home to an abundance of wildlife including Wild Hunting Dogs (Lycaon pictus). To the East of the park there are 19 villages with a total population of about 40,000 which are divided into two main administrative divisions Idodi and Pawaga. Over many years the fertile land has attracted people to settle in this area. Pastoralists from northern Tanzania have also migrated here, so, as a result of these human movements, Wild Hunting Dogs are now closer to human settlements.

There are many reports that the Dogs have been seen near villages and there are cases of livestock keepers complaining of Wild Hunting Dogs killing their animals. As a result of this harassment, these people have been looking for medicines to poison them. It is thought also, that Dogs are susceptible to disease transmitted by domestic dogs.


Objectives of the project:

-To investigate human/wild hunting dogs/livestock conflict at interface between land managed for the livestock and land managed for wildlife.
-To develop necessary conflict mitigation measures.
-To monitor the movement of the dogs in Ruaha ecosystems
-To create awareness to people surrounding the park about the importance of the dogs.
-To reduce mortality of the wild hunting dogs and prevent those that are looming on the edge of human settlements of contracting disease through the vaccination of domestic dogs against rabies.
-To disseminate information regarding the problem facing this species.


The project will create awareness through education to all stakeholders surrounding the Park.

Project Leader: Dr Charles Dulle
Collaboration: Ruaha National Park (Gladys Ng'umbi - Ecologist)
Project Advisers: Roger Burrows, Malcolm Ryen, Jan Corlett, Sue Stolberger

 

News: Jan 16, 2006

Dr Dulle was delighted to receive an illustrated guide in colour, depicting the differences between Wild Dogs, Jackals and Hyenas in Kiswahili. Several hundred copies of this information sheet have been laminated and distributed to the villagers.

One of the problems encountered is that many village people are not sure of the differences between these predators and so this will avoid much confusion in the gathering of data on the Wild Dogs on village land.

This gift was very kindly designed and given by Pietro Luraschi, of Mdonya Old River Camp.

 

News: April 5, 2006

Things have gone a bit quiet on this front as these past few months we have been busy taking footage for a Wild Dog video which our good friend Ben Please of the Brock Initiative is busy working on this moment.

We are making a film in Kiswahili (with English sub-titles) to help illustrate to the villages, in the peripheral areas of the Park, that although they face problems with the Wild Dogs through stock losses, Wild Dogs are indeed a precious commodity that should be looked after and preserved.

This has been a great team effort with both the folk living in the villages outside the Park, and Guides and Park authorities. We have had great enthusiasm form everyone on this program and we hope that the film will be ready for viewing in the near future.

In addition to this, Dr Dulle has had feed back from his questionnaires, with records of Dog sightings in areas we did not previously think would still have these magnificent creatures.

We will keep you posted!

Mdonya Camp Supports Hunting Dog project and EMI Tree project (April 2006)

News: August 2006

KISWAHILI FILM SHOW

Hugo Van Lawick's brother Ghodi, began the Van Lawick Foundation in order to bring his brothers wonderful films and photos to the people of Tanzania. Ruaha Conservation Fund in collaboration with the Hugo Van Lawick Foundation have put on a photographic exhibition in the Pawaga area outside the Ruaha Park. (Last year we assisted him with the same exhibition in the Idodi area)

Last year RCF asked Ben Please of the Brock Initiative to translate one of Hugo Van Lawicks famous films 'the Tale of Two Sisters" into Kiswahili. This is a film depicting the interesting life cycle of Wild Dogs, filmed many years ago in the Serengeti.

This film has been shown every day at the Pawaga secondary school for 2 weeks, as a result over 5,200 students and teachers have been shown this interesting film. It is hoped that with this new insight into the life of Wild Dogs the students and residents of the Pawaga area will be keen to assist Dr Dulle with his Wild Dog program, that
is conducted outside the Ruaha Park.

RCF in conjunction with Ben Please have also compiled another Wild Dog film in Kiswahili, that was filmed outside the Park, using some of the local residents as key figures in the film. It is hoped that this film will be ready for viewing by the end of August 2006.

 

All of the programs (and more not mentioned here) require funding, so if
you are interested in assisting us with these valuable programs please
do not hesitate to contact me at sue@ruaha.com

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