project news

Frontier's Dhole Goal

News item submitted by Frontier
News item dated 9 Apr 2009

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Frontier is located in one of the last remaining suitable habitat areas for dhole (Asiatic wild dogs), Botum Sakor National Park, in the forests of Cambodia. Dhole have been eradicated from much of their former range in Indochina, but remain here and in the nearby Cardamom mountains. Project staff have seen the wild dog species in the area recently, and are currently initiating a project to monitor two dhole packs present in the region. 

Dhole live in social packs of up to 30 individuals. They have strict group hierarchy, and maintain strong pack cohesion through an unusually complex repertoire of whines, whistles, squeaks and growls. Where prey is scarce and habitat limited, dhole are likely to exist in smaller groups, indicating that local populations are under threat.

Many Cambodian species are threatened by rampant deforestation and hunting. As dhole are wide-ranging predators, they require large areas of connected habitat containing healthy populations of prey species such as deer and wild hog. These areas are becoming increasingly scarce, and the species also suffers from persecution due to infrequent predation of livestock, and transmission of disease from domestic dogs.

Dhole are likely to be one of the first species to go extinct if effective conservation management procedures are not established in Cambodia. Frontier is working hard to integrate conservation efforts with local communities, and develop good relations with policymakers, in order to use our valuable data to help effectively preserve protected areas and their wildlife. We hope that our efforts will allow wild dogs to roam the mountains and forests of western Cambodia for many years to come.

Read more about our Cambodia Project