MetroFibre joins the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s pack to support Wild Dog conservation
MetroFibre has stepped up to sponsor the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s (EWT) monitoring of one of the Wild Dog packs in Kruger National Park. The Kruger Wild Dogs represent the only protected, unmanaged population of Wild Dogs left in South Africa and could be at risk as a viable population unless concerted conservation action is taken.
The African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) is the most Endangered carnivore in Africa, with only around 550 left in South Africa. They are primarily threatened by human persecution and habitat loss. The EWT’s Carnivore Conservation Programme implements large-scale, collaborative, field-based projects to conserve Africa’s threatened carnivores by expanding their ranges and increasing their numbers. The EWT has been studying and conserving African Wild Dogs since the early 1990 and has conducted surveys of the dogs in the Kruger National Park every five years over the past two decades.
“When the EWT began working to conserve Wild Dogs, the overall number of Wild Dogs in South Africa was limited to around 300 dogs confined to the Kruger National Park and small, isolated populations outside of protected areas. Since then, the population in Kruger alone has bounced back from 120 in 2009 to around 350 in 2022. In 2021, our implementation of a near-real-time monitoring platform in the Greater Kruger landscape amplified our ability to respond to packs in danger. This system allowed us to remove 22 snares from packs over the past 14 months and to respond more rapidly to packs that escaped from the protected area network,” Grant Beverley from the EWT explains.
The success of this project is largely due to the highly collaborative process used to coordinate the initiative, which was developed by Contemplate Wild and funded by the Oak Foundation and the Boucher Legacy. The Wild Dog Advisory Group of South Africa (WAG-SA) is chaired and coordinated by the EWT and involves stakeholders from all areas of Wild Dog conservation, the community, and commercial farming stakeholders.
“MetroFibre’s sponsorship will go towards supporting the EWT’s goals of continued ongoing focal monitoring of the Wild Dog packs and applying GPS tracking collars to monitor movements and provide the ability to respond to emergencies. As MetroFibre, we are passionate about conservation and how tracking technology is used to support conservation efforts, something that resonates with our industry. As MetroFibre already has an existing sponsorship relationship with the EWT, it made sense for us to direct sponsorship funding to the WDREP programme. We recognise that long-term funding will ensure that the programme can continue with the amazing and highly specialised work that it does on the conservation front,” explains Jan-Jan Bezuidenhout, Deputy CEO MetroFibre.
About the Endangered Wildlife Trust
Founded in 1973, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) has consistently and effectively worked towards achieving our conservation legacy. At its core, the EWT’s work is based on three strategic pillars: saving species, conserving habitats, and benefitting people. The EWT’s team of specialists is based across East and southern Africa, ensuring the protection of threatened species and ecosystems. Our critical work includes conducting applied research, supporting community-led conservation, training and building capacity, addressing human-wildlife conflict, monitoring threateed species, and establishing safe spaces for wildlife range expansion. The EWT works alongside key partners, including communities, businesses, and governments, to create a sustainable future for wildlife and people. Find out more at www.ewt.org.za