Malawi

location of malawi

WDCM is based in Malawi, southern Africa and is working to conserve the African wild dog and biodiversity in Malawi and reduce human wildlife conflict.

Malawi is listed as a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Global 2000 Ecoregion and lies at the heart of three eco-region categories including the central and eastern Miombo Woodlands (WWF code 88), Zambezi flooded savannas (WWF code 98) and Southern Rift Montane woodlands (WWF code 103). Malawi is recognised of international importance supporting a rich array of endemic species, including some that are restricted to single mountains.

However, this rich biodiversity base is being threatened by an unsustainable rate of exploitation. Conversion to agriculture, firewood collection, wild fires, and invasion by alien species are all real threats. Deforestation is a considerable threat with Malawi losing 2.8% per year, with less than 5% of origional forest area remaining (Mickleburgh, Hutson & Racey 2002; Chikuni & Sambo 2006).

Malawi's wild dogs

nyika In Malawi wild dogs are only present in Kasungu National Park (KNP) and have recently been sighted in Nyika National Park (NNP). In KNP there is evidence of breeding, with sightings of pups by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) since 2009, and it is likely that they form part of the Eastern Zambian meta-population.

Despite regular sightings in KNP and its importance as a viable population, to date no comprehensive studies have been conducted on wild dogs in Malawi. KNP is subject to high levels of human encroachment, poaching and indiscriminate snaring (Bhima et al., 2003), and carnivores have declined over recent years. A lion census identified low numbers around KNP (M´┐Żsochina et al., 2010), suggesting that KNP could be a refuge for wild dogs due to low competition. The presence of a hitherto unknown breeding population of wild dogs, low densities of competing predators, and the potential to enhance the link to the Zambian population make the Malawi dog population particularly important.



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Study Sites

WDCM is working in the following areas:

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