At the turn of the last century explorers, farmers and naturalists recorded reports of wild dogs from all regions, even into the Namib desert during periods of good rains when herds of game freely roamed into these areas in search of seasonal food. Wild dogs were seen in the Karas and Hardap regions as late as the mid 1960s, the Khomas and Erongo regions in the late 1960s, Kunene in the 1970s and throughout the north central region into the 1980s. Currently wild dogs can only be found at very low densities in the isolated NE of Namibia. It is estimated that 300-600 individuals remain where only 5% of their range is within protected areas. Wild dogs are considered to be Namibia's most endangered mammal species and continue to be widely persecuted in all but the most unpopulated areas.



Right figure: Present distribution of wild dogs in Namibia. Yellow areas indicate the presence of vagrant packs or small dispersing groups representing the very extreme of a temporary range. Density / distribution data from much of the country is poor and extremely hard to collect. Wild dogs are rarely seen and pack numbers notoriously hard to accurately record. 

Available data indicates that Namibian wild dogs can range over 3,000km2 per pack - well in excess of other studies in protected areas across southern and eastern Africa averaging 700km2 per pack. Thus a pack can be reported in 3 different places, often up to 50km apart on the same day, and incorrectly reported as 3 different packs, often of differing sizes, as numbers are notoriously difficult to count. Farmers insist that several packs are using the area when the situation is the reverse with one pack utilising many farms. Farmers often use these false densities as motivation to curb numbers.

The aim of wild dog conservation projects in Nambia is to better understand the interactions between wild dogs and humans and to find ways of mitigating the conflict and promoting their value for ecotourism while researching other threats to wild dog conservation.