- Issue: Winter 2013
It’s not easy getting this close to an African wild dog. Although they are social animals sometimes seen in packs of up to 40 individuals, they are among the most endangered mammals in the world.
That’s why UK-based photographer William Burrard-Lucas sought them out with his signature “BeetleCam.” Sturdy, low-slung, and rolling on multiple heavy tires, this mini-ATV-cum-camera is Burrard-Lucas’s go-to tool for capturing close-up pictures of elusive animals. Like WWF’s camera traps, the BeetleCam captures pictures that offer important wildlife insights.
Still, if the dogs sprinted, the BeetleCam wouldn’t have a chance. Wild dogs can reach speeds of more than 40 miles per hour, and recent studies have tracked packs traversing national borders and hundreds of miles. Working with the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the KAZA Secretariat, which coordinates the KAZA landscape, WWF is supporting research on the movement patterns of wild dogs to better understand how they impact human activities such as livestock production. With this information in hand, we will be better equipped to help the species survive.