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Population and Habitat Viability Assessment for the African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) in Southern Africa. Final Report from the Workshop Held 13-17 October 1997 in Pretoria, South Africa


Basic Ecology

Social Organisation 

Creel, S.R., and N. M. Creel. 2002. The African wild dog. Behaviour, ecology and conservation. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

Demographics (pack size, population size, reproduction, mortality)

Davies-Mostert HT, Mills MG, Macdonald DW. 2015. The demography and dynamics of an expanding, managed African wild dog metapopulation. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 45:258–273.

Mills, M. G. L., and M. L. Gorman. 1997. Factors affecting the density and distribution of wild dogs in the Kruger National Park. Conservation Biology 11(6):1397-1406

Somers, Michael & Graf, Jan & Gunther, Micaela & Slotow, Rob & Gusset, Markus. 2008. Dynamics of a small re-introduced population of wild dogs over 25 years: Allee effects and the implications of sociality for endangered species’ recovery. Oecologia. 158. 239–247. 10.1007/s00442-008-1134-7. 

Woodroffe, R., Davies-Mostert, H., Ginsberg, J. R., Graf, J. A., Leigh, K., McCreery, E. K., Mills, M. G. L., Pole, A., Rasmussen, G. S. A., Robbins, R., Somers, M. and Szykman, M. 2007. Rates and causes of mortality in endangered African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus): lessons for management and monitoring. Oryx 41: 1-9


Girman, D. J., M.G.L. Mills, E. Geffen, and R. K. Wayne. 1997. A molecular genetic analysis of social structure, dispersal, and interpack relationships of the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus). Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 40:187-198.

Whittington-Jones BM, Parker DM, Bernard RTF, Davies-Mostert HT. 2014. Habitat selection by transient African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: implications for range expansion. South African Journal of Wildlife Research. 44(2):135–47.

Natural Pack Formation and Bonding

McCreery, E.K. & Robbins, R.L. 2001. Proximate explanations for failed pack formation in Lycaon pictus. Behaviour 138, 1467–1479.

Diet and Prey Selection

Hayward, M.W., O'Brien, J., Hofmeyr, M., Kerley, G.I.H. 2006. Prey preferences of the African wild dog Lycaon pictus (Canidae: Carnivora): ecological requirements for conservation. J. Mammal. 87: 1122–1131.

Space Use

Mills, M.G.L. & Gorman, M.L. 1997. Factors affecting the density and distribution of wild dogs in the Kruger National Park. Conserv. Biol. 11: 1397–1406.


Davies A.B., Marneweck D.G., Druce D.J., and Asner GP. 8/2016. “Den site selection, pack composition, and reproductive success in endangered African wild dogs.” Behavioral Ecology, 27, 6, Pp. 1869-1879.​


Cozzi, G., Broekhuis, Femke, Mcnutt, J.,  Schmid, B. 2013. Density and habitat use of lions and spotted hyenas in northern Botswana and the influence of survey and ecological variables on call-in survey estimation. Biodiversity and Conservation. 22. 10.1007/s10531-013-0564-7. 

A.T. Vanak, D. Fortin, M. Thaker, M. Ogden, C. Owen, S. Greatwood, R. Slotow. 2013. Moving to stay in place: behavioural mechanisms for coexistence of African large carnivores. Ecology, 94, pp. 2619-2631

Dröge E., Creel S., Becker M.S., M’soka J. 2017. Spatial and temporal avoidance of risk within a large carnivore guild. Ecol Evo 7:189-199.

Basic Ecology


Spiering P.A., Somers M.J., Maldonado J.E., Wildt D.E., Gunther M.S. 2010. Reproductive sharing and proximate factors mediating cooperative breeding in the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 64:583-592. 

Tensen L., Groom R.J., van Belkom J., Davies-Mostert H.T., Marnewick K., van Vuuren B.J. 2016. Genetic diversity and spatial genetic structure of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) in the Greater Limpopo transfrontier conservation area. Conservation Genetics 17: 785-794. 

Crossey, B., Chimimba, C., Plessis, C.d., Hall, G., Ganswindt, A., 2020. Using faecal glucocorticoid metabolite analyses to elucidate stressors of African wild dogs Lycaon pictus from South Africa. Wildl. Biol. 2020(1).

Optimal Group Size

Courchamp F., Macdonald D.W. 2001. Crucial importance of pack size in the African wild dog Lycaon pictus. Anim Conserv 4:169-174

Management and Conservation

Carying Capacity Estimation

Hayward, M. & O’Brien, J.m Kerley, G. 2007. Carrying capacity of large African predators: Predictions and tests. Biological Conservation. 139. 219-229. 10.1016/j.biocon.2007.06.018. 


Marneweck C., Becker P.,  Beverley G., Davies-Mostert H., du Plessis C., Forssman K., Graf, J., Gusset M., Hofmeyr M., Kelly C. Kilian P.J., Marchal, A. Marneweck D., Marnewick K.,  Owen C., Postiglione G.,Slotow R., Somers M., Gunther M., Parker D. 2019. Factors affecting the success of artificial pack formation in an endangered, social carnivore: the African wild dog. Animal Conservation. 22. 493–502. 10.1111/acv.12490. 


Mills M.G.L, Ellis S., Woodroffe R., Maddock A., Stander P., Rasmussen G., Pole A., Fletcher P., Bruford M., Wildt D.E., Macdonald D.W., Seal U.S. 1998. Population and habitat viability assessment for the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) in Southern Africa. IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, Apple Valley, MN, USA

Framework for Reintroductions

Bouley P, Paulo A, Angela M, Du Plessis C, Marneweck DG. 2021. The successful reintroduction of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) to Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique. PLOS One.


Lindsey P. A., Alexander R., Du Toit J. T., Mill, M. G. L. 2005. The Cost Efficiency of Wild Dog Conservation in South Africa. Conservation Biology, 19(4), 1205–1214.


Nicholson S., Marneweck D., Lindsey P., Marnewick K., Davies-Mostert H. 2020. A 20-Year Review of the Status and Distribution of African Wild Dogs (Lycaon pictus) in South Africa. African Journal of Wildlife Research. 50. 8. 10.3957/056.050.0008. 


Davies-Mostert H.T, Mills M.G.L, Macdonald D.W. 2009. A critical assessment of South Africa’s managed metapopulation recovery strategy for African Wild Dogs. Pages 10–41 in Hayward MW, Somers M, editors. Reintroduction of Top-Order Predators. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK.

General Conservation Issues/Discussions

Woodroffe R et al. 2007. Rates and causes of mortality in endangered African wild dogs Lycaon pictus: lessons for management and monitoring. Oryx 41:215–223.

Human Wildlife Conflict / Coexistence

Livestock Predation

Rasmussen G. S. A. 1999. Livestock predation by the painted hunting dog. Biological Conservation. 88: 133-139.

Human Attitudes Towards Wild Dogs

Parker D.M., Whittington-Jones B.M.,  Bernard R.T.F., Davies-Mostert H.T. 2014. Attitudes of Rural Communities Toward Dispersing African Wild Dogs in South Africa, Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 19:6, 512-522, DOI: 10.1080/10871209.2014.926575

Methods for Coexistance

Rasmussen G.S.A, Macdonald D.W., Bennett N. 2012. Masking of the zeitgeber: African wild dogs mitigate persecution by balancing time. Journal of Zoology 286: 232-242.


Hofmeyr M., Hofmeyr D., Nel L., Bingham J. 2004. A second outbreak of rabies in African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) in Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa, demonstrating the efficacy of vaccination against natural rabies challenge. Animal Conservation 7:193–198.

Top Down Effects

Ford A.T., Goheen J.R., Otieno T.O., Bidner L., Isbell L.A., Palmer T.M., Ward D., Woodroffe R., Pringle R.M. 2014. Large carnivores make savanna tree communities less thorny. Science 346:346–349. 

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The Wildlife Crime Handbook: A Species-Specific Support Tool for Investigating Officers and State Prosecutors