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  • 1.
    Scharis, Inger
    et al.
    Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
    Rasmussen, Gregory S. A.
    Painted Dog Conservation, Hwange National Park, PO Box 72, Dete, Zimbabwe.
    Laska, Matthias
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Using morphometrics to quantitatively differentiateAfrican wild dog footprints from domestic dogfootprints – a pilot study2016In: African Journal of Ecology, ISSN 0141-6707, E-ISSN 1365-2028, Vol. 54, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Reliable population estimation and species inventories areimportant for wildlife conservation, but such estimationsare often difficult due to unreliable identification of thespecies in question. Furthermore, for predator conflictresolution, it is essential to be able to reliably identify thepredator. This study presents a new method to quantitativelydistinguish African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) footprintsfrom feral domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)footprints. Footprint photographs were digitally processedusing Photoshop and the NIH image processing softwareImageJ, and total pad area and angles between thecentroids of the backpad and the digits of the paw weremeasured. Pad angles showed statistically significantdifferences between the two species and, with the exceptionthat there was no significant difference in pad areabetween African wild dog females and domestic dog males,total pad areas were also diagnostic. Consequently, thecombination of total pad area and the angle betweenbackpad and digits are useful discriminators to reliablyidentify the species from an unknown footprint.

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