Saving the Endangered African Painted Dog: Science, Conservation and Communities

Saving the Endangered African Painted Dog: Science, Conservation and Communities

Dr. Gregory Rasmussen

Director, Painted Dog Research Trust, Zimbabwe

“Saving the Endangered African Painted Dog: Science, Conservation and Communities”

Understanding that from a conservation perspective, ecosystems must include the human element, Dr. Gregory Rasmussen’s lecture will not only discuss research on the enigmatic African Painted Dog, but also explore how integration of contemporary human needs with empathy for wildlife and habitats can lead to successful conservation practices.

Greg’s presentation will offer memorable encounters with Painted Dogs over the course of his 25- year journey to protect this remarkable species. He will focus on lessons learned and future directions, including training tomorrow’s generations of local conservationists.

Painted Dog Research Trust, Zimbabwe

With research and science as guiding tools, Painted Dog Research Trust is dedicated to conserving the highly endangered Painted Dog, also known as the African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus). Dr. Rasmussen, the trust’s founder, has led this work for 25 years, thus making it one of the longest continuous study of the remarkable species. Painted Dog Research Trust is based near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, in a landscape mosaic of national parks, forestry, private safari areas, and traditional communal lands.

With the pan-African population declining from half a million to some 5,000, the Painted Dog is listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as “Highly Endangered.” Painted Dog populations in Zimbabwe link to all five neighboring countries: Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, South Africa and Mozambique. Thus, Zimbabwe is an important keystone for this species. To maintain the integrity of the populations in Zimbabwe and other countries, research must continue unabated, because long-term study and monitoring are core to the continued survival of Painted Dogs.

Dr. Gregory Rasmussen

Gregory Rasmussen was born in London and moved to Zimbabwe with his parents when he was still a child. After college, he began work on a research project on Painted Dogs in Hwange National Park and became so committed to the species that he sold his belongings to live and work for their protection.

Greg is a conservation biologist who retains affiliation with the Wildlife Conservation Unit at Oxford University, where he earned his Ph.D. He is also a research associate and lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe. His research interests are wide ranging, but with special focus on trans-boundary conservation.

In 2003, an airplane crash left Greg severely injured and alone in the African bush.  He endured extreme temperatures and exposure to predators while waiting for help. Eventually he was rescued, and the story of his survival was featured in Discovery Channel’s, “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” series.



Georgia Institute of Technology

College of Sciences

“Frontiers in Science” Lecture Series

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

7:30 PM

Clary Theater, Bill Moore Student Success Center

A reception follows the lecture.
(Parking available in Visitors Lot, on the south side of North Avenue, across from Tech Tower.)