Thursday, July 29, 2010
Botswana Predator Conservation Trust
According to Dr Tico McNutt, director and founder of the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust (BCPT), "the 5 600 remaining wild dogs in Botswana are under serious threat due to habitat loss and conflict with expanding human populations". It was this awareness that led Dr McNutt to devote himself to the study of the wild dog species and setting up the Trust, (see www.bcptrust.org). In the last two decades, he has chartered the life histories of more than 1000 individual dogs spanning eight generations, compiling data that has contributed significantly to changing public perceptions of this species. Today, the BPCT has become one of the most comprehensive and largest running field projects in Africa with a team of international and local students who carry out studies on wild dogs, leopards, cheetahs spotted hyenas by radio collaring them. This technique helps in the better understanding of the animals' social behaviours, habitat use, interactions within and between species, foraging patterns and population dynamics. The article is available in the August edition of Africa Geographic in the HOORC Library.