Two new groups of painted wolves added to Gorongosa Park.

March, 2021

The Endangered Wildlife Trust translocated two new groups (new genetics) of painted wolves from South Africa to Gorongosa National Park this spring.

The group included a newly bonded pack of six including males from Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park and females from Lapalala Game Reserve. The two males once ruled one of South Africa’s most successful packs and were accompanied by an all-female team of buffalo hunters and a lady dog called “Teardrop.” 

The newly arrived wolves were named by the Gorongosa Girls Clubs the day before their release. 

Across the Park, denning season is just beginning- meaning new pups to arrive shortly!

Three dispersing male dogs born in Gorongosa in 2019 (the first litter born in the park in decades) were also translocated to Karingani Reserve in March to bond with females prior to their reintroduction to new areas in Malawi later this year. This is the first ever internal Painted Wolves relocation in Mozambique.

In 2018, through the Wild Dog Range Expansion Project, the first Painted Wolves were introduced into Gorongosa National Park and a year later, Karingani Game Reserve received its first pack. Both Mozambican reserves were identified as feasible space for reintroducing Painted Wolves but no one could predict how well these packs would do. The Painted Wolves packs settled into their new homes, went on to den and raise their pups, and we watched on as the new Mozambican arrivals reached adulthood and dispersed from their natal packs to start new packs of their own.

With only around 6,600 Painted Wolves left in Africa, this iconic species is one of the Continent’s most at-risk carnivores and is listed by the IUCN as ‘Endangered’. Urgent action is needed to save them. A key conservation strategy is to reintroduce Painted Wolves to viable ecosystems where they once ranged. The Painted Wolves (Lycaon pictus) is a canid native to sub-Saharan Africa. It is the largest indigenous canid in Africa, and the only extant member of the genus Lycaon. The Painted Wolf possesses the most specialized adaptations among the canids for coat colour, diet, and for pursuing its prey through its running ability. It possesses a graceful skeleton, and the loss of the first digit on its forefeet increases its stride and speed.

Two key targets in the Wild Dog Range Expansion Project, a project spearheaded by the Endangered Wildlife Trust, is to continually increase Painted Wolves safe space and population numbers in Africa. With the success from Mozambique, we are now able to utilise Painted Wolves from the respective reserves and allow them to become Painted Wolves pioneers in new safe space that has become available through large restoration efforts.

The multi-disciplinary team that ensured the translocation of the Painted Wolves

Thank you to the following partners for making the painted wolf expansion project possible:

Endangered Wildlife Trust

Karingani Game Reserve

ANAC

African Parks

Painted Wolf Wines

The OAK Foundation

About the Gorongosa Project

Gorongosa National Park (GNP) in Mozambique is perhaps Africa’s greatest wildlife restoration story. In 2008, a 20-year Public-Private Partnership was established for the joint management of GNP between the Government of Mozambique and the Carr Foundation (Gorongosa Restoration Project), a US nonprofit organization. In 2018, the Government of Mozambique signed an extension of the joint management agreement for another 25 years. By adopting a 21st Century conservation model of balancing the needs of wildlife and people, Gorongosa is protecting and saving this beautiful wilderness, returning it to its rightful placeas one of Africa’s greatest national parks.GNP has been described as one of the most diverse parks on Earth, covering a vast expanse of400,000 hectares. In recent years, the Gorongosa Project, with the support of Mozambique’sNational Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), has ensured the protection of a recovering population of lions in this system, successfully reduced key threats, and has beenrecognized as one of National Geographic’s “Last Wild Places” and by TIME Magazine as one of the “World’s Greatest Places – 2019”.

If you would like more information about this topic or would like to schedule an interview with those involved in the project, please call Vasco Galante at +258 822970010 (WhatsApp) or email vasco@gorongosa.net.

For more general information, visit http://www.gorongosa.orgYou may follow the daily activities of Gorongosa National Park here: https://www.facebook.com/gorongosa/.

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