Photo Credit: Mpala Research Centre

Recovering an African wild dog population



In 2017 Kenya’s wild dog population in the Ewaso ecosystem crashed: just two individuals were left where 20 packs had lived a few months earlier. This was caused by an epidemic of Canine Distemper Virus after herders participating in land invasions brought infected domestic dogs with them. The wild dog population is now fragile, but its habitat and prey remain. This means that the species can recover if carefully conserved.


  • Reduce Wild dog mortality from canid diseases by 66%;
  • Reduce the number of Wild dog mortality due to human killings by 50%;
  • Double infrastructure and public support for wild dog conservation in Kenya.


  • Develop a disease management plan via a series of workshops featuring national and international experts;
  • Vaccinate wild dogs against rabies;
  • Teach livestock management techniques in order to prevent wild dogs from killing livestock and to reduce retaliatory killings;
  • Build local support by using participatory theatre as a tool to link human health to dog health.

This project is a part of the IUCN SOS African Wildlife initiative, which is funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DG Devco) through its B4Life initiative.

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