The African painted dog (Lycaon pictus) and the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) have almost completely disappeared in Cameroon, according to researchers from the University of Leiden (Netherlands) yesterday.
Three years of intensive surveys, in collaboration with researchers from Cameroon, were summarised in a news releaseon the University’s website.
The main reasons for the collapse of the population of both painted dog and cheetah are habitat destruction, poaching by local communities, lack of prey and retaliatory killing by managers of hunting zones. Other large carnivores such as lion, leopard, striped hyena and spotted hyena, have become rare and survive in small populations.
The painted dog as a species is resilient and it is therefore expected that when wildlife conservation strategies are drastically improved, it may recover. This is unlikely for the cheetah population to happen, because there are no cheetah populations in the neighbouring countries. The research was funded by the Dutch and Cameroon branches of WWF. (Source: website University of Leiden, 26.07.2010)