The Wildlife ACT Fund and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife have been trying to get a satellite collar onto the Crossroads Wild Dog Pack in Hluhluwe for over a year. In August, the SAT collar was fitted onto a male African Wild Dog nicknamed, ‘Ian’, who is one of the adult Wild Dogs in the pack. The Park’s management had decided that they were going to replace Bala’s collar with a newer one. On the day, plans didn’t go according to plan, as so often happens in the bush, so ‘Ian’ was collared instead.
Wild Dog Update – Fitting Ian with a SAT Collar
The pack started denning in late April 2013 and it has been a successful denning period. They have six healthy puppies that are three and a half months old. They are the resident pack in the northern stretches of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa. The pack consists of five adults (two females, Fossy and Solo and three males, Bala, Ian and Ncane). Fossy and Bala are the alpha pair in the pack. Ian and Ncane are Bala’s brothers. There are also now six pups in the pack and they have started learning how to hunt with the adults but are still hanging back a little.
Wild Dog Update – Monitoring Collared Wild Dogs
The collar is going to be a huge help for monitoring and management of this pack, and of Wild Dogs in general. Their home range extends into the thick hilly terrain of Hluhluwe and there are often times when no VHF radio signal can be found and they go for weeks without being seen or located. This SAT collar will help us figure out where they “disappear” to during these periods, and also give us an extremely accurate idea of their home range, and habitat use and preference. It will also help alert us to any possible break outs from the park.
Wild Dog Update – Two is Better Than One
One more good reason for this pack in particular to have two dogs collared is… well, Bala, the Alpha male and father is very much a stay at home dad when it comes to the denning months. So now it will be a lot easier to follow the rest of the pack during those times. You have to love a protective father!
Ian was nicknamed as a puppy by the official Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Wild Dog Monitor, Zama Zwane.