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PT123

Wild Dogs in the Triangle

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This is only the third time in the past five years that I am aware of that wild dogs have been spotted in the Mara Triangle. I belive that the other times they were spotted they were around the Serengeti border and near the Serena. This time I think that they were spotted by the Serena and also by the Oloololo gate. I hope that they stay in the Reserve or head south t the Serengeti. Does anyone have any details of other wild dog sightings in the Triangle? I believe that there may also be a small population in Mara North (Aitong area).

 

https://www.facebook.com/maratriangle/

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One of them is collared so it should be known where they are from. There are only three and I bet they are all the same sex and a dispersal group, not likely to hang around.

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They were at the Double Cross Area in the main Reserve yesterday.

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we are off to Kenya a week from now, will have three days in the Triangle - have any recent dog sightings been reported?

 

thanks

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Hi @@ice The only mention of dogs on the Mara Triangle Twitter stream since the beginning of February have been the Anti-Poaching Unit's tracking dogs :)

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Posted (edited)

@@ice

 

I hope that I am wrong but unfortunately there is slim to no chance of seeing wild dogs in the Mara (with only a handful of sightings in the past few years). I believe that very occasionally there may have been sightings of one or two individuals by the Serengeti boarder or coming down from the Mara North Conservancy. I've been to the triangle six times and all of the guides that I have spoken to (who have been working there for 10-15 years) have never seen them. Regardless, the Triangle is great (especially this time of year rbecause it will be significantly less crowded). Where are you staying? I look forward to seeing pictures!

Edited by PT123

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Posted (edited)

@@ice

 

I hope that I am wrong but unfortunately there is slim to no chance of seeing wild dogs in the Mara (with only a handful of sightings in the past few years). I believe that very occasionally there may have been sightings of one or two individuals by the Serengeti boarder or coming down from the Mara North Conservancy. I've been to the triangle six times and all of the guides that I have spoken to (who have been working there for 10-15 years) have never seen them. Regardless, the Triangle is great (especially this time of year rbecause it will be significantly less crowded). Where are you staying? I look forward to seeing pictures!

 

yeah, I know the chances are slim but who knows...

 

We will have three nights at Keekorok and three nights at Mara Serena, after (hopefully) having sucessfully hiked Mount Kenya a week before

Edited by ice

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...there have been occasional reports of dogs passing by the park HQ near the Serena so who knows! The Serena is in a great location and I know that you will have very good general wildlfe sightiges (lions, leopards, perhaps a rhino or two and all the usual grazers). Being in the Triangle in the off-season (i.e., no tourist hoards) is fantastic. Have a great time!

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this will be my 5th or 6th trip to the Triangle in the last 15 years or so but we've never been there in the rainy season, so I am quite curious

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Not in the Triangle, a pack of nine dogs was seen in the central section of the Mara.  I am encouraged as sightings seem to be a bit more frequent and this seems to be of an actual pack (as opposed to one or two individuals).

 

https://www.facebook.com/pg/bushtops/posts/

 

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Would an increasing wild dog population in the Mara area hint at a declining lion population @Safaridude?

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@Game Warden - might be as much or more from nearby Maasai dogs getting more vaccinations.  

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On ‎6‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 6:50 AM, Game Warden said:

Would an increasing wild dog population in the Mara area hint at a declining lion population @Safaridude?

 

@Game Warden

Matt, that's an interesting question.  I had read last year that because some Masai were bringing cattle into the main section of the reserve that the lion prides were being displaced (i.e., the Marsh pride).  I don't know if this is accurate and if so there is a cause and effect.  My uneducated guess would be that there intuitively there could be some type of connection but then again, lions and wild dogs coexist in Kruger and other areas.  Also, (again) my uneducated impression was that humans (not necessarily other top predators) were the main reason for the virtual eradication of wild dogs.  I would think that reduced lion populations would more directly result in increased hyena populations.

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Wild Dogs are particularly vulnerable to diseases like canine distemper. They also suffer badly from poisoning. The whole pack at Mashatu was lost to poisoning a couple of years ago. They have recently introduced some more dogs.

 

Because they live in a pack and share (regurgitate) food, if one dogs gets sick it is easily passed on to others. 

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Posted (edited)

@Game Warden

 

Obviously, there are many factors influencing wild dog populations, only one of which is lion density.  For a couple of decades now, the Mara region and northern Serengeti have not had wild dog packs consistently denning.  I believe there have only been sightings of, essentially, vagrants (perhaps some of them denned once or twice, but not consistently).  A few years ago, several packs from outside national parks in Tanzania were relocated into Serengeti National Park.  It may be that some of them splintered from their original packs and are showing up in some new places in the Serengeti/Mara.

 

One thing that's not really discussed is that dogs normally don't do well on open plains.  Across Africa, they do much better in lightly wooded environments.  This may have to do with the detectability of the dogs' hunts by lions and hyenas, as they will steal the dogs' kills.  The Mara has changed a lot in the last 40-50 years ("Mara" means spotted in Maa.  The Mara used to be heavily bushed.)  It is much more open than it used to be (fires and elephants).  It's just not great habitat anymore for the dogs.  Additionally, the lion population in Serengeti/Mara is very healthy right now.  It may be due to the wildebeest population that has essentially doubled since the '70s.  (Prior to the '70s, the migration did not reach the Mara.).  And why has the wildebeest population doubled?  Recovery from rinderpest, for sure, but also the opening up of the Mara and northern Serengeti may have had an influence.  Full circle...

Edited by Safaridude
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