African wild dogs, wolverines, wolves—carnivores like these have a reputation for their ferocity, but these icons of the wild are increasingly vulnerable. Many carnivore species are ill equipped to survive in landscapes dominated by people. Their habitats in some of Earth’s most rugged terrain are increasingly fragmented, separated into islands that isolate their populations. For such wide-ranging species (a wolverine’s home range can be larger a grizzly bears, even though bears are ten times bigger), this can paint a bleak picture for their long-term survival. As apex predators, these animals are also crucial for ecological balance, and their loss would resonate across entire ecosystems. WCS works from the high Rockies of Greater Yellowstone to the savanna bushlands of Kenya to connect carnivore habitats, monitor their populations, study disease threats, and resolve conflicts between carnivores and humans.
The African wild dog, one of the lesser known wild canids, is highly
social and spends its entire life in a close-knit, nomadic pack. Connecting some parks and reserves in Africa is helping to support the needs of this wide-ranging, endangered carniore, but measures to protect the dogs outside parks are needed.
One of the most elusive forest carnivores in North America, fishers are rarely seen even by those who work and play frequently in forested landscapes. Yet these carnivores are struggling to elude the pressures introduced by the fur trade and logging industry.
The ancestor of all domestic dog species, the gray wolf was originally the most widespread mammal in the world. A combination of habitat loss, loss of prey, and persecution by humans has complicated efforts to save this keystone predator in the United States.
The largest of the land-dwelling weasels, the reclusive wolverine dwells in parts of Canada and the United States. Humans are increasingly developing places where wolverines live, disrupting their prey base.