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Barry Bath

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Barry grew up in Johannesburg and knew from a young age that he had a true love for the African bush yet it was only after spending several years in the corporate world in Europe, followed by a two year sabbatical of traveling ...

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on Are Wild Dogs Territorial?

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Senior Digital Ranger

Such a treat to see Wild Dogs and how they interact with one another. I love the different patterns of theirs coats.

Hi Sandra, I too love their different patterns of their coats.

Barry, thanks for the great insights into wild dogs. We have always wondered about that. It has seemed over the past few years that sightings of wild dogs are more common. We guess that’s a positive for the Sabi Sands region and how the different lodges, are preserving the wild spaces.

Hi Michael & Terri, the wild dog population has bounced back quite significantly in the whole of the Greater Kruger over the last few years which has certainly translated into more sightings in the Sabi Sand as well.

Barry, great information on wild dogs, thank you for continuing my education.

Beautiful images Barry and thanks for your story on the wild dogs. They always seem to be happy to see each other and look after each others puppies. Good to know that they are territorial as well.

This was good reading Barry, as you explored a subject that I hadn’t given much thought to, as far as territories are concerned. Having observed wild dogs in a couple of SabiSand properties, it seemed as though they were taking advantage of the game available to them , without consideration of another pack’s “territory”. To a novice’s eye, the pack travels together , moving quickly on the roads and then suddenly darting into the vegetation and sometimes disappearing, but at no time do they seem to be checking for scents. Thank you for delving into this subject!

Hi Denise, it certainly is different behaviour to the traditional territoriality seen with leopards and lions for example. What got me thinking about it was because we keep seeing the same packs of wild dogs and if they truly just moved around following game with no consideration to a territory then we would have new packs constantly turning up but instead we only see a few.

Senior Digital Ranger

Interesting article, Barry. Great pics as well! How often are dogs spotted in the Winter months on Londo?

Hi Ann, it really depends on the year but with winter comes their denning period which means that if, like in 2020 and 2021, we have a den on our property we will get to see wild dogs on a daily basis. However, if they den elsewhere far from our boundary then the likelihood of seeing them during the winter months decreases tremendously until the pups are old enough to move with the rest of the pack. Fingers crossed we have a den on our property again this year.

Thanks Barry for this fascinating and informative post. Any and all information on the African Wild Dog is always welcome and appreciated. I think they might be my favorites!!

Hi Paul, they are certainly one of m favourites too.

It makes sense that related packs would be more tolerable of each other. How interesting that researchers were able to learn this. Have there been any sightings or information about the two pack with the one eared female? I haven’t heard any news of them in a really long time and wondered how they are faring.

Hi Chelsea, the BBC documentary part of the Dynasties series is worth a watch which gives a great background to how researchers follow packs up in Botswana and know almost each individual of each pack. Regarding the pack of two, we haven’t seen or heard anything of them since 2020. The last we heard they had crossed into the Kruger National Park.

Wild Dogs are some of my favorites . There is always a lot of excitement when they are around

how can a species be both nomadic and territorial? (unless you’re defining territorial to mean over resources, not land)

Wouldnt the fact you see the same packs (plural) suggest they aren’t territorial, as if they were you’d only see one? There just isn’t enough of a wild dog population for there to be multiple packs going through.

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10 April, 2798
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