African Wild Dog (photo: Dr Julia Myatt)

Two papers published together in Nature Communications reveal the detailed hunting behaviour of a whole pack of African wild dogs in Northern Botswana. Dr Julia P Myatt from the School of Biosciences is one of the authors of the study carried out by the Royal Veterinary College and the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust.

Using high-resolution position and speed data from custom-built GPS collars they were able to study the detailed movements of a whole pack of dogs during hunts. Compared to previous studies they found that in mixed woodland savannah habitats African wild dog hunting may rely less on complex cooperative strategies and be more energetically robust due to the use of frequent, opportunistic, short chases. 

Understanding the hunting strategies of a species helps conservationists to identify which areas should be protected or where new populations can be re-introduced most successfully.

Read the papers online: