Waterberg Wild Dogs
One of the last, natural free-roaming populations left in South Africa.
There are currently 32 known free-roaming African wild dogs in the Waterberg, comprising two resident packs. The WWDI currently monitors tracking collars placed on both of the resident packs, the TOOG Area Pack and the Melkrivier Area Pack. The WWDI also works with the Mabula Private Game Reserve to advise on the resident breeding pack on the reserve that was formed in 2022 by bonding males and females from free-roaming packs. Smaller, single-sex dispersal groups are occasionally reported throughout the Waterberg that the WWDI works to investigate.
TOOG Area Pack
The largest pack, the TOOG Area Pack, is currently ranging between Vaalwater and Lephalale, near the R33. The pack utilises 65,000Ha over 55 different private game farms, hunting and breeding farms, livestock farms, and private nature reserves. The WWDI monitors the pack's movements and has established an early-warning mechanism to notify landowners when the pack is near their property, allowing them to take proactive steps to mitigate conflict and keep the pack safe.
As the only adult female in the pack, she is a strong and courageous mother. She has successfully raised two litters of pups and survived in the mountainous bushveld with an old, severe injury to her front leg that inhibits her movements. She plays a very important role in pack stability.
A strong and healthy adult male to help lead the pack and navigate through the mountainous terrain. His devotion to his pack has helped the alpha female survive and rear pups.
As the second adult male in the pack, he plays an important role in helping find food for the pack and teaching the young dogs how to live life as a Waterberg Wild Dog.
She is a remarkable and confident young dog, always taking the time to play with her sisters. She is easily distinguished by the #9 seen on her thigh.
An observant dog, she is quick to pick up on any changes in the environment and always keeps an eye out, often giving a warning "growl" to scare off potential danger.
A calm and cautious dog, she is most comfortable alongside the protection of the pack. As the only female with a GPS tracking collar, she is very important to WWDI's tracking efforts.
A great big sister - she played an important caregiver role during the 2021 denning season and often stayed behind at the den to babysit her new siblings. She is easily identified by the #6 on her thigh.
All born during the 2021 Denning Season. The pups have grown and are no longer remaining at a den site. They are moving with the pack through the bushveld.
2021 Den Site Trail Camera Footage
2021 Den Site Trail Camera Footage
This long video was compiled from many short videos taken by a trail camera that was placed at the den site for the breeding pack of Waterberg Wild Dogs during the 2021 denning season. To limit disturbance at the den site, the WWDI team placed trail cameras to monitor the growth and development of the pups in a minimally invasive way. These cameras were recovered at the conclusion of the denning season, once the pack had left the area.
Currently ranging on Mabula Game Reserve, these two males dispersed from a larger pack in northern Limpopo earlier in 2021. They were first reported in the Waterberg, near Melkrivier, in June 2021. In July 2021, they were found in Rooiberg and were fitted with a GPS tracking collar to allow the WWDI team to monitor their movements. The two males have travelled over 330km in the last few months in search of females.
WWDI relies on reported sightings, tracks, and predation to fill in our information gaps. Please assist our efforts by reporting any wild dog signs in the Waterberg to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4-5 Dogs near Melkrivier
A group of 4-5 wild dogs are occasionally reported ranging near the Melkrivier area. The most recent report has confirmed that at least two of the dogs are female and one is male - exciting news about the potential for another breeding pack! WWDI is in need of GPS tracking collars to place on this pack in order to monitor their movements and establish the early-warning mechanism currently in place with the breeding pack just south of Lephalale.
2 Dogs near Bulgerivier
This picture was captured from a camera trap in Nov/Dec 2020. Since then, 1-2 dogs have been occasionally seen in the area. At this time, we do not know the sex of the individuals.
4 Dogs near Sterkrivier
A group of 4 wild dogs was seen near Sterkrivier in January 2021. There have been no reported sighting of them since and WWDI is working to gather more information.