This is my last card contribution to the Endangered Ark card deck ([link]
), which will be released in April. Pre-sales for the decks have started, so don't miss out! Part of the proceeds of every deck sold are donated to several charities for endangered animals!
The African Wild Dog is known by many names, including Cape Dogs, Hunting Dogs, Painted Wolves and Spotted Dogs. They are an extremely social pack hunting canine native to Africa. They have a complex and rather unusual social structure, which is based on a submissive hierarchy as opposed to a typical dominance hierarchy. For instance, rather than fight over food, animals will beg enthusiastically. Their behaviour is likely due the pack rearing large litters of puppies at once and any injuries sustained to a dog would damage the packs ability to feed and care for the young. Their packs are large, around 15-25 animals, depending on the size of their territory. Separate packs are also social and non-aggressive toward one another. Two or more packs have been known to gather together for short periods of time.
The pack is an integral part of the Wild Dog's life. They hunt as pack, and nearly 80% of their hunts are successful, which is very high ratio for most predators. Remarkably, their hunting tactics appear to be learned behavior, passed down from generation to generation, as opposed to instinctual. Different packs will use slightly different methods to bring down their kills.
At once point, there were 500,000 Wild Dogs in the wild, some ranging in packs of 100 animals. Now, there are only 3,000-2,500 left. They are endangered due mainly to hunting from ranchers and habitat loss, which forces them in direct competition with lions and hyenas. They are also very susceptible to introduced diseases such as distemper, parvovirus and rabies. Due to their extremely social nature, these diseases spread through their numbers like wildfire.