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African wild dog dispersal and implications for management

Cite this dataset

Cozzi, Gabriele et al. (2020). African wild dog dispersal and implications for management [Dataset]. Dryad.


Successful conservation of species that roam and disperse over large areas requires detailed understanding of their movement patterns and connectivity between subpopulations. But empirical information on movement, space use, and connectivity is lacking for many species, and data acquisition is often hindered when study animals cross international borders. The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) exemplifies such species that require vast undisturbed areas to support viable, self‐sustaining populations. To study wild dog dispersal and investigate potential barriers to movements and causes of mortality during dispersal, between 2016 and 2019 we followed the fate of 16 dispersing coalitions (i.e., same‐sex group of ≥1 dispersing African wild dogs) in northern Botswana through global positioning system (GPS)‐satellite telemetry. Dispersing wild dogs covered ≤54 km in 24 hours and traveled 150 km to Namibia and 360km to Zimbabwe within 10 days. Wild dogs were little hindered in their movements by natural landscape features, whereas medium to densely human‐populated landscapes represented obstacles to dispersal. Human‐caused mortality was responsible for >90% of the recorded deaths. Our results suggest that a holistic approach to the management and conservation of highly mobile species is necessary to develop effective research and evidence‐based conservation programs across transfrontier protected areas, including the need for coordinated research efforts through collaboration between national and international conservation authorities.

Usage notes


This file contains GPS locations of the dispersing African wild dogs. Animal ID and Timestamps are linked to each random_identifier and available upon request to the leading author.


This file contains villages, cattle posts and crop fields in the vicinity of dispersing dog relocation data. This is not an exhaustive representation of all  villages, cattle posts and crop fields across the entire study area.


Idea Wild

Swiss National Science Foundation, Award: 31003A_182286

National Geographic Society