African Wildlife: 4 Endangered & Vulnerable Species

zimbabwe safari

Join Dan Hopkins and Bonnie Fladung for an Osher@Dartmouth Zoom course focusing on 4 endangered species of African wildlife.  Did you know the pangolin is the world's most trafficked animal?  That there are only about 5000 African wild dogs in existence?  How have recent ivory bans affected elephant poaching?  How does civil unrest affect mountain gorillas?  With guest speakers, lectures, and film we will explore how habitat loss, poaching, and conflict have contributed to the endangerment of these four species.

Wild Dogs, Moremi

Course Description:  Did you know that the pangolin is the world’s most trafficked animal that no one has ever heard of? How does charcoal harvesting and war threaten the wild gorilla population, which is now just over 1,000 individuals? The African wild dog, a.k.a. the “painted wolf,” was once considered a pest and hunted mercilessly. Today, only about 5,000 African wild dogs remain. China banned the elephant ivory trade two years ago. How has this affected the demand for elephant ivory and the illegal poaching trade? And why were elephants in Botswana dying mysteriously by the hundreds this past spring and summer?

This class will take a close look at four fascinating endangered and vulnerable species: elephants, pangolins, wild dogs, and mountain gorillas. We will explore how poaching, habitat loss, human-animal conflict, and even war have contributed to their endangerment. We will look at the successes and failures of current programs designed to protect these species. Join us as we present information via lectures, film clips, and guest speakers. We will provide a reading packet, links to relevant materials, and a list of recommended readings.


Bonnie Fladung:  Bonnie specializes in nature, travel, and adventure writing. She is co-author of When Eagles Roar: The Amazing Journey of an African Wildlife Adventurer, a 2016 National Geographic book recommendation.

Dan Hopkins:  Dan is the owner of GrassTrack Safaris, an adventure travel company specializing in authentic journeys into the African wilderness. He has traveled throughout Africa and led OSHER@Dartmouth groups on safari to Botswana and Namibia.


Thursdays, Jan 21-Feb 11 2021

430pm-630pm EST

What's Calling You to Africa?

An exhilarating trek in search of endangered mountain gorillas?  Experiencing the vast desert wilderness of Namibia?  Following a herd of elephants on foot?  Paddling papyrus lined waterways of the Okavango?  Discover your African adventure on one of our safari packages or we'll help design your own itinerary.

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