Photographic proof has emerged that the mysterious and reclusive bush dog is present in large parts of the nation of Panama.
The bush dog happens to be the most elusive of the canines found throughout the world. Its habitat is Central and South America but it is difficult to spot a bush dog for miles and miles.
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But new evidence from cameras installed at various locations show that the bush dog is common though it often chooses hidden spots for its activities. This will assist in the efforts to protect this endangered species.
One of the research associates who spearheaded the study said that “We are working on an article about big mammals using camera trapping data that spans Panama from the Costa Rican border to the Colombian border.”
He acknowledged that the bush dog was a rarity alright. Most of these dogs have short legs and their limbs look like stubs. The have a height of one foot. The majority lives in tropical forests.
Bush dogs photographed in Donoso, Colón Province, Panama, 7 Dec., 2012, 06:15.
Photo credit: MWH Global, Inc., Minera Panama S.A..
Some also thrive in alternative habitats. They are known to hunt in packs of upto 10 animals. They let out shrill whining noises to keep in touch with each other. And while chasing their prey, they let out yapping noises like little puppies.
The prey of these canine species consist of rodents such as agoutis and pacas. But in other regions they also feast on armadillos. They are known for their sheer ferocity.
Six of them have been seen chasing a tapir which is much larger than a bush dog. They are active during the daytime but are rarely ever seen in the open air.
Digital camera traps were employed to take photographs of these curious creatures. These traps were also meant for other large mammals such as jaguars.
Bush dogs were caught sight of at four different locations thanks to this scheme. Out of 32,000 camera days, only on 11 occasions were pics of bush dogs taken.
This shows the extremely covert nature of this beast. The species normally thrives in Panama, although there have been sightings in Costa Rica. In the past dozen years or so, the bush dog populations have been decimated by 25%.
While they are not hunted by humans, the loss of their habitat and approaching human settlements have caused their numbers to dwindle. The conservation of this rare species is a must.
This new study based on the above photographic evidences was published in the journal Canid Biology and Conservation.