The painted wolf is a unique and remarkable creature. On the one hand it is Africa's most successful predator, yet on the other it is an incredibly social animal, caring deeply for its family's wellbeing in a tightly knit pack. The alpha female leads the pack, behaving like a queen and general, and is the only one to breed. Other members of the pack serve as dedicated aunts and uncles, teachers and playmates, hunters and defenders to a brood of beautiful but cheeky little pups. Yet for the last 100 years, the painted wolf has endured an outrageous onslaught, which has seen their numbers decrease from 500,000 a century ago to only 6,500 today. This 99% reduction in their population has put the wolf's survival on a knife edge.
Painted Wolves: A Wild Dog's Life is their story. It is told with insight and passion from two people who know them well, each with their own unique perspective on this endearing animal. This story is told in three parts. In the first section of the book we are introduced to the painted wolf and learn not only about the fascinating features that make them so special, but also the history of their persecution and the challenges that they continue to face today.
In the second part of the book, Nick takes us deep into the wild Zambezi Valley where he has been following and photographing painted wolves on foot for the last six years. Here you will meet the incredible alpha females Tait, Blacktip and Tammy, as they live their lives away from the destructive influences of man. You will experience them at the den, on the hunt, feasting and through the ups and downs of family life.
In the third section, Peter provides a real insight into conserving the painted wolves based on twenty years dedicated to their survival. Although they are now a protected species, they still face a relentless assault from snaring, roadkills and disease. Peter takes you into the tough world of conservation, describing the many challenges and the innovative and successful solutions he has introduced. The book is illustrated with more than 220 stunning images. Each photograph tells a story in its own right and brings alive the captivating and mysterious world of the painted wolves and the lives of those around them. All profits from this book are donated to the Painted Wolf Foundation.
Foreword by Mark Carwardine
1 - The Painted Wolf by Nicholas Dyer
2 - Dog Days in Mana Pools by Nicholas Dyer
- The Pack
- The Den
- The Hunt
- The Feast
- The Family
3 - An Uncertain Future by Peter Blinston
- The Research
- The Rehab
- The Protection
- The Community
- The Education
4 - Hope for the Future by Peter Blinston
Gratitude and Sponsors
Nicholas Dyer grew up in Kenya and always had a passion for photography. After careers in finance and marketing, stuck behind a desk in London, he took the decision to return to Africa and turn his life around to dedicate it to photography, writing and wildlife conservation. He discovered the painted wolves of Mana Pools National Park and fell in love with them. Nick has spent much of the last six years living in a tent while following and photographing three packs on foot.
Peter Blinston fell in love with painted wolves while watching documentaries in his native England. He volunteered for Painted Dog Conservation (PDC) from home in England for two years and then initially moved to Zimbabwe as an unpaid six-month volunteer. He has now been there for 20 years and serves as Managing Director. Peter has helped translate the initial vision for PDC into effective programmes that have made a significant difference to the survival of the species.