I started this Endangered Species Series in the fall of 2014 as one small part of my conservation initiative. Here is what I said about it in that very first installment...
“I feel a responsibility to try and protect the world that inspires me every single day. This series will be a journey of learning for myself and all those who choose to educate themselves further about the many species in our world that are losing their homes, their livelihood, and being killed for various reasons (among many other things). Please join me each week to celebrate the beautiful creatures of our world and learn more about their story and place in history. Perhaps, after several weeks of exploring, learning, and appreciating the animals of our world, we can, together, take a bigger step to making a difference.”
I still feel very strongly that education is the key to understanding the issues facing our world and the first step in making a real difference. The conservation pillar of my business is still growing and changing and I'm always looking for new, creative ways to support and protect the beautiful creatures we share our world with.
Find your joy. -Melissa
African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus)
Height: 29.5 – 43 inches
Weight: 39.5 – 79 inches
Habitat: open plain, spare woodlands
Range: sub-Saharan Africa
Diet: carnivore; antelope, wildebeests, gazelles, rodents, birds, and other small prey
The African Wild Dog is also known as Cape hunting dog or painted dog – referring to their mottled coat, which has patches of red, white, brown, black, or yellow. They have large, rounded ears and each animal has a unique pattern on their coat. Unlike other canines, wild dogs only have four toes on each foot. Wild dogs can reach speeds of up to 44 miles per hour.
African Wild Dogs live and travel in very social packs dominated by one monogamous breeding pair. The dominate female may have up to 2 to 20 pups in a litter and the entire pack takes care of them. Packs are known to share food that they hunt in cooperative packs of 6 to 20 (larger packs were common before they became endangered). Social interactions are common and they communicate with touch, actions, and vocalization.
African Wild Dogs are among the world’s most endangered mammals. They are threatened habitat loss and are very susceptible to disease passed by domesticated animals. The largest populations of wild dogs remain in southern African and the southern part of East Africa. Wild dogs are also threatened by accidental and targeted human killings.
[Sources: National Geographic, World Wildlife Fund]
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