Wild Dog The African Marathoner

Wild Dog

Wild Dog

IUCN red list classification as endangered

Scientific Name: Lycaon pictus
English name: Wild Dog
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia 
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Link to Red List page:  The Red List page of Wild Dog 

Where to find

East Africa and South Africa region are the actual range. But in fact, he is extinct or almost everywhere. The population is in rapid decline and the perspective for the wild dog is generally very bad.  Just in some remote areas of Tanzania, he can stay quiet. Because those areas are inhospitable and not suitable for humans.


The habitat of wild dog is limited to grassland or savannah and deserts. Rarely can be found in forests where is difficult for him to catch using his hunting characteristics. He shares his areal with lions and hyenas and there is a relationship between the number of lion and number of wild dog in the same place.


The wild dog is a Canidae’s family animal. It is the biggest of the family in Africa. He can be high between 60 to 75 cm at the shoulder. And weight around 25/30 kg. Female is just a little bit less than male.


Wild Dog
By Derek Keats, CC BY 2.0 credits

The wild dog is a very social animal. He is a diurnal hunter and he prefers to do it in packs.

Did you know? the wild dog can follow his prey for more than one hour at the speed of 60 km/h. He is a marathon specialist. From his preferred prey, there are the gazelles, the Impala, the wildebeests. And sometimes even zebras of bigger animals like buffalo.

They live in packs with the hierarchies well divided between male and female. The is an alpha female and alpha male. Usually, the alpha female is the one authorized to have a birth. the cubs of other females are killed after born. This behavior is related the number of cubs that the female can have. She can birth up to 15 cubs. It is the number of a regular pack, so if all females have the birth of 15 cubs the food available will be less and not enough.

Did you know? opposite of all the other species the cubs less than one-year-old can eat before the adults.

Major risk

The major risk is the human conflict followed by the disease epidemy. The human considers him a real menace. His attitude to be a well-organized hunter, make him a problem for human activity.

Another problem is the territory’s fragmentation. The problem that afflicts mostly of habitats on the earth. We have badly colonized the planet. And we don’t give at the other species of surviving and maintain the biodiversity.



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