For millennia, Lycaon pictus,
the wild dog, roamed the savannas of sub-Saharan Africa. A highly social scavenger, much like the wolf of the Northern Hemisphere, the wild dog served an essential function in the grasslands ecosystem, culling sick and injured ungulates from once-vast herds. With the advent of large-scale farming and livestock production, however, the wild dog was seen as a threat to progress and was hunted out. Only some 5,000 individuals survive today, making Lycaon pictus
Africa's most endangered carnivore. This heavily illustrated look at the life of the wild dog makes a well-reasoned argument for its preservation.
From Library Journal
In 1989, the authors and photography team Helene Heldring and Dave Hamman embarked on what would become a four-year effort focused on the African wild dog. As is true of many carnivores that compete with humans for food and living space, an untainted study population was difficult to locate. The researchers finally decided on the Mombo Pack on Chief's Island in Botswana's Okavango delta area. This coffee-table account includes over 300 superb color photos offering a broad picture of the pack's behaviors, from pack structure to hunting techniques. A brief suggested reading list lacks two related works of interest: noted zoologist Jonathan Scott's Painted Wolves (Viking, 1991) and Mark and Delia Owens's Cry of the Kalahari (1984). (The Owenses also worked in Botswana but were denied reentry owing to their criticism of conservation efforts there; McNutt et al. gratefully acknowledge the government's support. A very readable book; highly recommended.?Edell Marie Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., Wis.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.