Research into the painted dog is based primarily in Zimbabwe and focuses on distribution, density and threats of national pack. Data are collected by collation of sightings and photographs nationally, as well by undertaking ground-trothing surveys that entail spoor transects and interviews. To provide genetic information, stress hormone parameters, parasite loads, and prey faecal blood and tissue samples being collected. This work targets all areas of Zimbabwe where dogs are suspected to occur and involves using VHF and satellite/GPS/remote download collars to understand land use patterns and in particular trans boundary movements. By using spot satellite imagery work is in progress to conceptualize the human footprint and thus develop a landscape strategy for the species. Such a strategy will include designating corridors as well as devising landscape incentives in the relevant areas. Integrating into the aforementioned work, current research foci include using morphometric measurements from photographs to determine belly indices as well as to measure relative growth rates of pups both in and ex-situ. It is also intended that photogrammetric measurements be used to regionally compare populations as well as to rigorously discriminate foot print of different species in order facilitate reliable determination of species presence.
Gregory Rasmussen - Painted Dog Conservation, Zimbabwe