Acoustic methods as an application tool for the conservation of the African painted hunting dog

Simone Hartwig

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


The African painted dog, Lycaon pictus, is one of Africa's most endangered species. Even though painted dogs are legally protected and categorized as Endangered since 1990 (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) they continue to be actively persecuted. In order to support conservation efforts it is most important to assess their population size and monitor life history and health status of every single individual (there are only 3,000 individuals left on the entire continent). Visual identification by observing unique coat markings will not always be possible because painted dogs often live in dense habitats. Therefore acoustic identification by individual voice patterns may be a complimentary method to identify and monitor painted dogs in dense vegetation. Additionally, playbacks of calls can be used to bring groups or individuals close enough for visual identification, which may allow researchers to assess population density and/or to evoke a vocal response for later acoustic recognition. Procedures that require immobiisation (such as injury treatment, removal of snares, or fitting radio-collars) are much easier if individuals ca be lured int accessible areas. Furthermore, the replay of Lycaon vocalisations can facilitate translocation operations by luring entire packs into makeshift enclosures. In this study, I tested the effectiveness of broadcasting long-distance calls to attract painted dogs. The likelihood that painted dogs will perceive the calls and be lured to the sound source increases if the calls are transmitted as far as possible. Therefore long-distance calls were tested for their transmission propagation by broadcasting experiments in different habitats at different heights.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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