Painted Wolf Wines and PEDALS 4 PAWS
Stop Press!…..Jeremy and Emma Borg of Painted Wolf Wines have chosen another of my paintings as a label for their new wine Pictus III…..
see the story behind the label here:
Pictus I, (2009) is a blend of Shiraz Grenache and Mourvedre.
The label was painted by Lin Barrie and later auctioned by the Tusk Trust in the UK at the Friends of Lewa dinner
This highly social and charismatic animal is amongst the most endangered of all African mammals. The African Wild Dog or Painted Dog is only distantly related to domestic dogs or wolves, and is in fact the last remaining remnant of a group of canids which pre-date domestic dogs and wolves on the evolutionally ladder. It is estimated that one hundred years ago there were over half a million throughout Sub – Saharan Africa – this figure has dropped to an estimated 4500- 6000 animals scattered in small populations, with Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania holding the most viable populations. African Painted Dogs are critically endangered in South Africa and need all of the help they can get. The wild population in South Africa has dropped to below 400 animals, and continues to decline steadily. If we lost as many painted dogs in South Africa in the last year as the number of rhino tragically poached, the species would be extinct in South Africa.
There are a number of reasons why the species is declining, almost all being human related –
1) dogs shot or poisoned by land owners, hunters and farmers
2) snares set by poachers – a scourge throughout African conservation areas
3) rabies – contracting rabies from village dogs
4) being run over by vehicles
Painted Dogs populations are affected by changes in the density of the bush and access to prey. They are also attacked and killed by other predators, particularly lions.
WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT PAINTED DOGS
Aside from their enormous charm and beauty, African Painted dogs have a very highly developed social and family structure. They are hugely supportive of one another, exhibiting traits which as humans we can easily identify with.
They are enormously successful at hunting, with a success rate of at least 70 per cent. They are very good at spotting the sick or out of condition which helps keep the gene pool of their prey vibrant.
Painted Dogs require a large amount of space – a pack of 30 dogs requires a similar amount of space to roam and hunt as is required by 300 lions or 150 leopards. Strategies for long term conservation of the species involve the conservation of large tracts of land. In South Africa, a project to link Madikwe and Pilansberg Game reserves and a project to secure space for free movement of Dogs in Northern KZN are both examples of projects which are driven by the need to create space for our remaining dog population. These strategies have a very positive spin off for all other species. As one of the rarest and most charismatic of our mammal species, Painted Dogs are a significant draw to the game reserves in which successful populations exist. They are a valuable tourist resource to South Africa, and they need your help
Jeremy Borg of Painted Wolf Wines and Pedals 4 Paws plans a number of cycle rides over the coming years to visit most of the reserves in Southern Africa where viable populations of Painted Dogs exist and where there are research and conservation programs in place. Each ride will be different and will highlight a different area and the work of different conservation organisations. We will take a limited number of riders on each leg who will be expected to help raise funds for a number of conservation organisations. We will use the resources of Painted Wolf Wines to communicate to a broad public about the dogs, and other related conservation issues. We plan to focus our efforts in the future on the effect which poaching with wire snares and other snares set to catch game for the bush meat trade is having on Painted Dogs and all other species, and to help by raising funds and other resources to help tackle this major conservation problem.
BENEFICIARIES OF FUNDS.
Painted Wolf Wines is involved with a number of conservation organisations in Southern Africa and has provided resources of funds to The Endangered Wild Life trust, The Tusk Trust, The Botswana Predator Conservation Trust and the Painted Dog Conservation and African Wildlife Conservation Trust in Zimbabwe. We intend to continue supporting these organisations with the beneficiary dependent on where the ride is taking us. The Endangered Wild Life trust will be the beneficiary of the first Pedals 4 paws ride.
PEDALS 4 PAWS RIDES.
The rides take us between major conservancy areas. Each be different, traversing varied terrain. This is a cycle tour, not a race and is intended to give an opportunity for adults and younger children to ride together. The groups will be small.
The first ride took place between 27th March and April 1st, 2012.
“The ride starts at Madikwe at Derdepoort Gate and will cover roughly 500kms taking the riders to Marakele game reserve (where there is an important vulture conservation project) up through Lephalale (Ellisras) and onto the Botswana border at Platjan. We finish at The North Tuli game reserve in South eastern Botswana. The ride is being undertaken by 3 families and a single man with our young sons also riding. The younger boys will be expected to cover 100 kms over the ride whilst the adults will cover 500 kms. The boys will raise funds through their school community and families through their broader social and business community.”
“Two other rides are planned for 2012 – a ride from Hwange in Zimbabwe to Moremi in Botswana and the third ride from the Kruger national park to Umfolosi”
Pedal 4 Paws rides 2013:
Follow the facebook page A Celebration of Painted Wolves, to find out more about Pedal 4 Paws rides into Mana Pools and Gonarezhou national Parks in June /July 2013 and the fabulous Taste of Africa” luncheon in the Mukuvisi Woodlands!