Their scientific name is Lycaon pictus, which translates as “painted wolf-like animal”. African wild dogs are Africa’s second most endangered large carnivore, occurring in only 14 African countries, and with viable populations left in only eight (Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana and Kenya).
There are an estimated 6,600 adult and yearling wild dogs left in the wild. Since wild dogs are a pack species (average 10 individuals), this translates to only 660 packs (or breeding females). Population size is continuing to decline as a result of ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation, conflict with humans, and infectious disease.
Wild dogs are classified as endangered by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN), but are listed on Appendix 2 of the Convention of Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS).