Cape wild dog

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Cape wild dog
African wild dog lycaon pictus.jpg
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Lycaon
Species: L. pictus
Subspecies: L. p. pictus
Trinomial name
Lycaon pictus pictus
Temminck, 1820

The Cape wild dog (Lycaon pictus pictus) is a subspecies of African wild dog native to Southern Africa. It is much more colourful than the East African wild dog,[2] though even within this single subspecies there are geographic variations in coat colour: specimens inhabiting the Cape are characterised by the large amount of orange-yellow fur overlapping the black, the partially yellow backs of the ears, the mostly yellow underparts, and a number of whitish hairs on the throat mane. Those in Mozambique are distinguished by the almost equal development of yellow and black on both the upper and underparts of the body, as well as having less white fur than the Cape form.[3] It is the largest subspecies, weighing 20–25 kg (44–55 lb).[2]

Southern Africa contains numerous viable wild dog populations, one of which encompasses northern Botswana, northeastern Namibia and western Zimbabwe. In South Africa, around 400 specimens occur in the country's Kruger National Park. Zambia holds two large populations, one in Kafue National Park, and another in the Luangwa Valley. However, the wild dog is rare in Malawi, and probably extinct in Angola and Mozambique.[4]



  1. ^ McNutt et al. (2008). Lycaon pictus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 6 May 2008. Database entry includes justification for why this species is endangered
  2. ^ a b Estes, R. (1992). The behavior guide to African mammals: including hoofed mammals, carnivores, primates. University of California Press. pp. 410-419. ISBN 0-520-08085-8.
  3. ^ Bryden, H. A. (1936), Wild Life in South Africa, George G. Harrap & Company Ltd., pp. 19-20
  4. ^ Fanshawe, J. H., Ginsberg, J. R., Sillero-Zubiri, C. & Woodroffe, R., eds. 1997. The Status & Distribution of Remaining Wild Dog Populations. In Rosie Woodroffe, Joshua Ginsberg & David MacDonald, eds., Status Survey and Conservation Plan: The African Wild Dog: 11-56. IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group.