Wild Dogs: Canary Effect

WILD DOGS – Canary EffectHere’s a program from our archives.ambience: African Wild Dogs, growl Along with many other wild animals, the fate of Africa’s wild dogs depends upon the preservation of scarce natural habitats. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.African wild dogs require vast tracks of land to accommodate their migratory lifestyle– even up to a thousand square kilometers for each pack of roughly nine dogs. As a result, they are constantly crossing the boundaries of the areas that have been reserved for them. And at the edges of the reserves, close to the ever-encroaching world of humans, the dogs encounter hazards such as roads, foreign diseases and traps.Josh Ginsburg is Director of the Asia Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society and has contributed to a report on the African Wild Dog.Ginsburg: Because they move around at the edge where all the threats are, they’re much more likely to die and therefore they indicate the habitat’s getting fragmented, that there are smaller and smaller places for wildlife and fewer and fewer wild lands and wild dogs will disappear almost before anything else. They’ll disappear before hyenas. They’ll disappear before lions; they’ll certainly disappear before elephants and before rhino. And so that they’re a good indicator of the first step towards fragmentation and loss of habitat. They’re like a canary in a coal mine. They’re a very good indicator of problems with the ecosystems in which they live. So when you start losing your wild dogs, it’s an indication that you’re going to start losing all your other wildlife in the near future.Hoping to monitor the dwindling wild dog populations, Josh Ginsburg and his colleagues are putting radio collars on the animals and they’ve even asked tourists to look out for the wild dogs, and take pictures of any that they may see. If enough space can be secured for African wild dogs, scientists know that they’ll also be preserving the habitat for a whole spectrum of wild animals. We’ve been listening to a program from our archives. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Wild Dogs: Canary Effect

The health of African Wild Dogs provides some important clues about the health of all the animals in the Wild Dogs’ ecosystem.
Air Date:06/12/1998
Scientist:
Transcript:

WILD DOGS - Canary EffectHere's a program from our archives.ambience: African Wild Dogs, growl Along with many other wild animals, the fate of Africa's wild dogs depends upon the preservation of scarce natural habitats. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.African wild dogs require vast tracks of land to accommodate their migratory lifestyle-- even up to a thousand square kilometers for each pack of roughly nine dogs. As a result, they are constantly crossing the boundaries of the areas that have been reserved for them. And at the edges of the reserves, close to the ever-encroaching world of humans, the dogs encounter hazards such as roads, foreign diseases and traps.Josh Ginsburg is Director of the Asia Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society and has contributed to a report on the African Wild Dog.Ginsburg: Because they move around at the edge where all the threats are, they're much more likely to die and therefore they indicate the habitat's getting fragmented, that there are smaller and smaller places for wildlife and fewer and fewer wild lands and wild dogs will disappear almost before anything else. They'll disappear before hyenas. They'll disappear before lions; they'll certainly disappear before elephants and before rhino. And so that they're a good indicator of the first step towards fragmentation and loss of habitat. They're like a canary in a coal mine. They're a very good indicator of problems with the ecosystems in which they live. So when you start losing your wild dogs, it's an indication that you're going to start losing all your other wildlife in the near future.Hoping to monitor the dwindling wild dog populations, Josh Ginsburg and his colleagues are putting radio collars on the animals and they've even asked tourists to look out for the wild dogs, and take pictures of any that they may see. If enough space can be secured for African wild dogs, scientists know that they'll also be preserving the habitat for a whole spectrum of wild animals. We've been listening to a program from our archives. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.