Wild Dogs

WILD DOGS Here’s a program from our archives.Ambience: African Wild Dogs’ who callWe’re listening to the sounds of Wild Dogs calling to each other across the savannas and scrub lands of Southern Africa. An endangered species, African Wild Dogs find protection and companionship in extended-family groups. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Josh Ginsburg is Director of the Asia Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society.Ginsburg: Wild dogs look sort of like wolves, but not terribly much. They’ve got long legs and very lean bodies. They’re almost greyhound like. But they have very large ears that they move around to listen to the environment and to see what’s happening.And they live in packs like wolves, with a group of males which are related to each other and a group of females that are related to each other and maybe eight to ten adults and six to eight pups in each pack. I think behaviorally they’re somewhat like dogs in that they’re very loyal and they’re very group oriented. If you have domestic dogs go into the wild as they have in many cities and countries around the world you have them become feral and feral dogs live in packs; they have very strong social systems; they have very structured hierarchies. And wild dogs have all that as well.The sound we’re hearing now, the “who call” is one adaptation which allows African wild dogs to communicate with others in their pack, even over great distances.Ginsburg: Wild dogs do best in fairly thick bush. When they move through the bush, obviously you’ve got a pack of up to twenty dogs hunting at once, they loose track of each other. And they will use the who call to reorient themselves and to relocate the rest of the pack and to call each other. And the who call which is this wonderful ringing bell sound will travel over very large distances. Several kilometers, at least and bring this pack together.We’ve been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Wild Dogs

African Wild Dogs travel in packs over vast distances-- so they’ve developed a special call which helps them to keep track of each other.
Air Date:06/10/1998
Scientist:
Transcript:

WILD DOGS Here's a program from our archives.Ambience: African Wild Dogs' who callWe're listening to the sounds of Wild Dogs calling to each other across the savannas and scrub lands of Southern Africa. An endangered species, African Wild Dogs find protection and companionship in extended-family groups. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Josh Ginsburg is Director of the Asia Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society.Ginsburg: Wild dogs look sort of like wolves, but not terribly much. They've got long legs and very lean bodies. They're almost greyhound like. But they have very large ears that they move around to listen to the environment and to see what's happening.And they live in packs like wolves, with a group of males which are related to each other and a group of females that are related to each other and maybe eight to ten adults and six to eight pups in each pack. I think behaviorally they're somewhat like dogs in that they're very loyal and they're very group oriented. If you have domestic dogs go into the wild as they have in many cities and countries around the world you have them become feral and feral dogs live in packs; they have very strong social systems; they have very structured hierarchies. And wild dogs have all that as well.The sound we're hearing now, the "who call" is one adaptation which allows African wild dogs to communicate with others in their pack, even over great distances.Ginsburg: Wild dogs do best in fairly thick bush. When they move through the bush, obviously you've got a pack of up to twenty dogs hunting at once, they loose track of each other. And they will use the who call to reorient themselves and to relocate the rest of the pack and to call each other. And the who call which is this wonderful ringing bell sound will travel over very large distances. Several kilometers, at least and bring this pack together.We've been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.