This update from the CKGR wild dog research group is about the monitoring of 4 wild dogs released into the northern CKGR at the end of August. One male wild dog and three pups captured in the far south of Botswana near Makapong was bonded with three captive breed female wild dogs from the Grasslands Lodge and released into the northern CKGR at the end of August. The CKGR research project has been able to determine that one of the grasslands female unfortunately died in mid September. She was collared and we located and found her body 16 km east of Deception Valley. Although the translocated male wild dog has spent the last three weeks outside of the CKGR he also spent some weeks within the CKGR and even went 40 km into the park to Deception Valley. He may very well return into the park. At this stage it is important to continue monitoring the wild dog to determine where and if he eventually settles.
Two of the wild dogs from Grasslands in the release structure in the CKGR moments before they were released into the CKGR with two other wild dogs to fend for themselves. Would the translocated male go back to his “home” looking for his pack 500 km away or stay in the area with his new pack? Would they all survive and if so how? Would the female wild dogs whom have never hunted learn to? In the few cases where released or translocated carnivores have been monitored post release they usually die or move back home. This was a “first” for wild dogs in Botswana as it was both a release of captive breed wild dogs and a translocation of a capture free ranging one that was predating livestock. Opinion as to what would happen was dived. Six weeks later we now have some of the answers but wait for others!
It is also a unique opportunity to study and learn about the how wild dogs behave when translocated, if they survive and meet up with other wild dogs, remain inside a protected area in which they are released or continue to move outside of the CKGR along with many other things on space use and wild dog ecology. The map below show the movement of the male translocated wild dog post release.
All of the realised wild dog locations obtained from his GPS collar (green dots) and the recent locations for the main study pack (brown dots) living within the CKGR. This operation was made possible and thus thanks go to the Carmanus Foundation, Cheetah Conservation Botswana, Mokolodi, Grasslands, the Kalahari Predator Conservation, Okavango Wilderness Safaris, the Botswana Department of Wildlife and Sefofane.