South American bush dogs discovery in Costa Rica


This 2013 video is called bush dog, Speothos venaticus.

From the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the USA:

Ecologists find bush dog, native of South America, in remote central Costa Rica

Trail cam documents unexpected, most northerly sighting of pack-hunting canids

May 23, 2019

Wildlife ecologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who are studying different conservation practices in the forests of Costa Rica recently made a startling discovery on a wildlife camera trap — wild bush dogs documented farther north than ever before and at the highest elevation.

Doctoral student Carolina Saenz-Bolaños is in Costa Rica comparing land use, management techniques, their effects on species presence and abundance, and human attitudes in four different areas in the rugged Talamanca Mountains: a national park, an adjacent forest reserve, an indigenous territory and nearby unprotected areas.

She and her advisor, professor of environmental conservation Todd Fuller at UMass Amherst, with others, report in an article today in Tropical Conservation Science the new, repeated sightings of bush dogs (Speothos venaticus) on trailcams well outside the limit of their previously known range on the Costa Rica-Panama border. The dogs are native to South America but are considered rare and are very seldom seen even there, the two ecologists point out.

Fuller says, “They aren’t supposed to be there, but Carolina’s work shows they really are, and they seem to be doing well. Not only is this wild dog rare wherever it is found, but this mountain range is very remote, with very little access. They could have been there before and we wouldn’t know it. So we’re documenting them with this report.”

Saenz-Bolaños says that because the roadless area is so huge, she and colleagues are not sure if the dogs are expanding their range, returning to a former range, or if they’ve been there all along but eluded detection. She works with Victor Montalvo, a fellow UMass Amherst doctoral student, and Eduardo Carrillo of the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica and UMass Amherst adjunct professor of environmental conservation.

Once the dogs were spotted on camera, the researchers contacted Michael Mooring of San Diego’s Point Loma Nazarene University who, with Junior Porras of Costa Rica’s National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), also had obtained new bush dog photos from southern Costa Rica.

Saenz-Bolaños, who has been operating trap cameras in the area since 2012, says, “I know most of the things that live here, so when I saw them on the camera I said ‘Wow, what is that — bush dogs here?’ I was very excited and thrilled to see them.” She adds, “The native people have a name for these dogs and their oral tradition says the dogs have been there in the past, but people living there now have never seen one.”

Bush dogs have been spotted north of the Panama Canal near the Costa Rica border in the past 10 years, she adds, but they are completely unexpected in the northern parts of the Talamanca Mountains.

Fuller says that bush dogs have lived in South America for thousands of years, and no one knows why they have not moved farther north into Central America, where the habitat is similar, but they are so rare that studying them is quite difficult. “There are still definitely interesting things to find out about them, especially if they’re expanding their range,” he says.

Curious about what it would take to collect more sightings of bush dogs in Costa Rica, he and Saenz-Bolaños worked with Paul Sievert of the U.S. Geological Survey and UMass Amherst to calculate how many camera-trap hours it might take to have even a 50-50 chance of seeing the animals again in an area of roughly 2,000 square miles (5,000 sq. km). Fuller says they estimate that it would require at least 25 camera traps set out for 100 nights, a difficult task in such remote, mountainous and tropical terrain.

The ecologists hope that their report will spark the imaginations of other wildlife ecologists, park managers and rangers in the region, who might set up their own camera traps in promising areas. Saenz-Bolaños plans to continue monitoring her study area and plans to try to talk to more local people about the dogs. Fuller adds, “At this point the mountain range looks like good bush dog habitat, but we just don’t know if they are getting started there or are already at home.”

The Stone Zoo in Stoneham, Mass., part of Zoo New England, has a family of bush dogs on exhibit where visitors can see these small wild dogs. The zoo participates in species survival planning for the bush dog to manage and conserve threatened or endangered animals.

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Australian dingoes differ from dogs


This 2013 video says about itself:

Australia’s wild dog, the dingo, is surrounded by mystery and controversy.

To some people it’s a vicious outlaw, deserving a price on its head. To others it’s creature symbolising wilderness. What is the dingo? Dog or wolf? Native or exotic animal? The documentary Wild Dog Dingo takes a factual look at this remarkable animal and its natural behaviour. Three years in the making, it is the most comprehensive film ever produced on the dingo.

From Flinders University in Australia:

Australian dingo is a unique Australian species in its own right

March 5, 2019

Since the arrival of British settlers over 230 years ago, most Australians have assumed dingoes are a breed of wild dog. But 20 leading researchers have confirmed in a new study that the dingo is actually a unique, Australian species in its own right.

Following previous analyses of dingo skull and skin specimens to come to the same conclusion, these latest findings provide further evidence of specific characteristics that differentiate dingoes from domestic dogs, feral dogs, and other wild canids such as wolves.

The finding that a dingo is a dingo, and not a dog, offers an opposing view compared to a another recent study that the Government of Western Australia used to justify its attempt to declare the dingo as ‘non-fauna’, which would have given more freedom to landowners to kill them anywhere without a license.

Co-author Professor Corey Bradshaw of Flinders University in South Australia says the classification of dingoes has serious consequences for the fragile ecosystems they inhabit, and state governments are required to develop and implement management strategies for species considered native fauna.

“In fact, dingoes play a vital ecological role in Australia by outcompeting and displacing noxious introduced predators like feral cats and foxes. When dingoes are left alone, there are fewer feral predators eating native marsupials, birds and lizards.”

“Dingoes can also increase profits for cattle graziers, because they target and eat kangaroos that otherwise compete with cattle for grass in semi-arid pasture lands”, says Professor Bradshaw.

Lead author, Dr Bradley Smith from Central Queensland University, says the scientific status of the dingo has remained contentious, resulting in inconsistency in government policy.

“The dingo has been geographically isolated from all other canids, and genetic mixing driven mainly by human interventions has only been occurring recently,” Dr Smith says.

“Further evidence in support of dingoes being considered a ‘wild type’ capable of surviving in the absence of human intervention and under natural selection is demonstrated by the consistent return of dog-dingo hybrids to a dingo-like canid throughout the Australian mainland and on several islands.”

“We have presented scientifically valid arguments to support the ongoing recognition of the dingo as a distinct species (Canis dingo), as was originally proposed by Meyer in 1793.”

Dr Smith says little evidence exists to support the notion that any canid species are interchangeable with dingoes, despite the fact that most canids can successfully interbreed.

“There is no historical evidence of domestication once the dingo arrived in Australia, and the degree of domestication prior to arrival is uncertain and likely to be low, certainly compared to modern domestic dogs.”

“We show that dingoes have survived in Australia for thousands of years, subject to the rigours of natural selection, thriving in all terrestrial habitats, and largely in the absence of human intervention or aid.

“The dingo is without doubt a native Australian species,” concludes Professor Bradshaw.

How prehistoric dogs hunted, new study


This December 2017 video says about itself:

There are many extant wild canids of North America including the gray wolf, the coyote, the hybrid red wolf, the Arctic fox, the gray fox, the red fox, the swift fox and the kit fox.

But North America was once home to many other canid or canid like species which are only known from fossils they have left behind. With exception of ‘’Dire wolf’’ which is a much better known extinct Canid, many other little known species of Canid or Canid-like species are known from scant fossil records and were endemic to North America.

Following are 5 lesser known Canids of Ancient North America you have probably never heard of:

1 — Epicyon (15-5 Million years ago)
2 — Borophagus (12 –2 Million years ago).
3 — Carpocyon (13.6 –5.3 Million years ago).
4 — Aelurodon (16 –5.33 Million years ago).
5 — Canis lepophagus (10.3 –1.8 Million years ago).

From the University of Edinburgh in Scotland:

Skull scans tell tale of how world’s first dogs caught their prey

January 11, 2019

Analysis of the skulls of lions, wolves and hyenas has helped scientists uncover how prehistoric dogs hunted 40 million years ago.

A study has revealed that the first species of dog — called Hesperocyon gregarius — pounced on its prey in the same way that many species, including foxes and coyotes, do today.

The findings also show that the largest dog species ever to live — known as Epicyon haydeni — hunted in a similar way. The animals — which lived from 16 until seven million years ago — could grow to the size of a grizzly bear.

Comparisons between computerised scans of fossils and modern animals have shed light on the hunting methods used by prehistoric members of a group of mammals known as carnivorans. These include modern-day foxes, wolves, cougars and leopards.

Scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Vienna used the scans to create digital models of the inner ears of 36 types of carnivoran, including six extinct species.

The team found that the size of three bony canals in the inner ear — the organ that controls balance and hearing — changed over millions of years as animals adopted different hunting styles.

Faster predators — such as cheetahs, lions and wolves — developed large ear canals that enable them to keep their head and vision stable while ambushing or chasing prey at speed, the team says.

Their findings reveal that inner ear structure indicates whether a species descended from dog-like animals or belongs to one of four families of animals resembling cats. A distinctive angle between two parts of the inner ear is much larger in dog-like animals, the team found.

The study is based on research carried out by Julia Schwab, a current PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, during her MSc studies at the University of Vienna, Austria. It is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Ms Schwab, based in the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, said: “For me, the inner ear is the most interesting organ in the body, as it offers amazing insights into ancient animals and how they lived. The first dog and the largest-ever dog are such fascinating specimens to study, as nothing like them exists in the world today.”

Argentine dog prevents football goal


This 3 December 2018 video about football says about itself:

Dog makes incredible goalline save

Watch the incredible moment a dog stops a shot on the line in an Argentine third division match between Defensores de Belgrano de Villa Ramallo and Juventud Unida.

Prehistoric giant North American dogs


This 28 August 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

The Rise and Fall of the Bone-Crushing Dogs

A huge and diverse subfamily of dogs, the bone-crushers patrolled North America for more than thirty million years, before they disappeared in the not-too-distant past. So what happened to the biggest dogs that ever lived?

African wild dogs and monkey


This video from Sabi Sabi wildlife reserve in South Africa says about itself:

5 December 2017

A pack of wild dogs came across a sick/injured baboon but remained very skeptical and did not eat the baboon.

Dog helps saving New Zealand parrots


This video says about itself:

This Amazing Dog Helps to Save Endangered Parrots | National Geographic Short Film Showcase

2 October 2017

Ajax is a highly trained border collie who helps locate New Zealand’s endangered kea. This elusive alpine parrot lives in some of the most remote regions of the country’s South Island.