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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Adoption as a conservation tool for endangered African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus)

Published source details

McNutt J.W., Parker M.N., Swarner M.J. & Gusset M. (2008) Adoption as a conservation tool for endangered African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus). South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 38, 109-112


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Place orphaned or abandoned wild young with wild foster parents Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 2000 and 2003 at three savannah sites in Botsawana (Mcnutt et al. 2008) found that orphaned African wild dog Lycaon pictus pups released in the vicinity of wild dog packs were readily adopted into the pack and had survival rates similar to those of wild pups. A six-week-old pup was adopted into a pack of 24 adults and yearlings in August, and survived to at least October, but not to the year end. Four 10-week-old pups were adopted into a pack of seven adults and eight pups in August. Two pups survived at least to the year end. Three 10-week-old pups were adopted into a pack of three adults and four pups in August but did not survive to the year end. Where pups died before the year end, no pups born into those packs survived either. One orphaned pup was adopted within 24 hours of capture, the others after three weeks of quarantine. Four pups required moving to re-join their adoptive pack, which moved 7 km during the first night following interactions with lions Panthera leo.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)