Painted Dog Conservation

One of Tomy Ndebele’s beautiful illustrations of painted dogs, commissioned for this project.

One of Tomy Ndebele’s beautiful illustrations of painted dogs, commissioned for this project.

Darwin Painted Dog Project, Zimbabwe

Siren is a longstanding supporter of the Painted Dog Project. This page aims to raise awareness of the work that they do and their fantastic achievements in the field.

Through our 2002-2004 Darwin Initiative partnership project, Siren contributed to the development of PDC’s conservation education programme. The downloads on this page are interpretive materials created during the project. They provide detailed information about painted dog lifecycle and behaviour, and their role in the ecosystem of Hwange, and are still used in PDC’s Community Conservation Education Complex. More recently Siren has supported the Painted Dog Football League, raising funds and ordering football kit for 13 teams named after the wildlife of Hwange National Park.

African wild dog football team

African wild dog football team, sponsored by Siren, with the Painted Dog Project, Zimbabwe

The Painted Dog Interpretive Hall, free to the public, teaches visitors about the greater Hwange ecosystem, the plight of the painted dog and how they can help, through a series of artistic, informative and interactive stations.

The PDC bushcamp programme teaches local children conservation concepts such as the value of biodiversity and the importance of ecological relationships. Most of these children never get the chance to visit the national park on their doorstep. Their feedback is very warm, and appreciative. PDC’s Education Outreach Officer follows up with more learning and practical activities in local schools. Children who attend the camp are showing improved grades in environmental sciences and are encouraging their parents to attend PDC workshops for adults. PDC is also establishing local community projects to improve water supplies and food security, helping people to manage local natural resources for community benefit.

The PDC arts centre supports local Zimbabwean artisans, celebrating their talents and resourcefulness, and providing them with access to international markets via online and direct marketing in Europe and the US. Contact Painted Dogs UK to purchase unique sculptures made from wire snares collected by PDC’s anti-poaching programme.

“Most of the children who came to the bush camp had never been in a vehicle, never been inside the National Park, and many had never had three meals a day. One little girl said how she loved having ‘time to think about trees rather than doing chores’. Another that he loved to learn the the names of the trees as where he lived, there was only one tree left.”  Excerpt from Siren’s report to the Darwin Initiative Fund

Children walking to the outdoor class room

Children walking to the outdoor class room, in PDC educational exclosure, Hwange, Zimbabwe

Children acting out painted dog play

Children acting out a painted dog play in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe


Participatory Rural Appraisal by Paul Maiteny (December 2003)

Provides an overview of how project as a whole is being received by local stakeholders, with special attention to cultural dimensions of developing learning, education and interpretation, and ideas about generating alternative, sustainable sources of livelihood (not only economic but more broadly defined, possibly including ‘non—material wealth’). Download PRA report (pdf, opens in new window)

Interpretive materials (compressed ZIP downloads)

These files contain materials created for the Community Conservation Education Complex

CCEC Goals and Map

Interpretive Hall Murals

Deeper Info Panels (1)

Deeper Info Panels (2)

Deeper Info Panels (3)

Leaflets and powerpoints about Painted Dog Behaviour and Ecology

Interpretive walks in the Park

Practical community development education materials


Bush camp
Childrens Bush Camp Programme (1)

Childrens Bush Camp Programme (2)

Bush Camp Lesson Plans

Bushcamp training certificates


Darwin Initiative Final Report (pdf, opens in new window)


Extract From Nkululeko: A Painted Dog Story by Sasha Norris (pdf, new window)

Image Credits: Tomy Ndebele; Sasha Norris; Bruce Lombardo; Peter Blinston