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Can Painted Dogs Be Saved?

Painted Dogs are African wild dogs, once found in 39 African countries and now, in only four. Dr. Greg Rasmussen, a founder and director of Zimbabwe-based Painted Dog Conservation , talks about these highly social animals at Greenwich Audubon on March 28, and his organization's efforts to save them from extinction. In the last century, the painted dog population has declined from more than 500,000 to only 3,000-5,000. As the PDC's website points out, "Zimbabwe is a land of exorbitant inflation, where bush-meat is a very real source of income and poaching threatens all wildlife. But the Painted Dog is especially susceptible over less mobile animals.They average in excess of 12 miles a day as they hunt, increasing the likelihood of an encounter with a deadly snare." In addition to snares, they are run over, shot or poisoned, often because they are thought to be a threat to livestock. PDC's efforts reach out in many directions, from removing snares, to monitoring packs to rehabilitation to educating children on the importance of biodiversity.

A native of Zimbabwe, Rasmussen was researching painted dogs there when, after several years, in 1989, he began the Painted Dog Conservation project near Hwange National Park. According to the Wildlife Conservation Network's website , he "became so committed to the painted dogs that he sold all his belongings and moved permanently to Zimbabwe to live and work for their protection." Hear his story and details of the important conservation work he's doing at Greenwich Audubon on March 28. The evening begins with a reception at 6 p.m. The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10. Children are free. For more information, visit the Audbon's website .

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