Dogs have long been considered man’s best friends. Loyal, loving, sometimes lazy, sometimes loud, but always likable, dogs are some of the most popular animals worldwide. But there is one group of dogs so reclusive and rare, that you probably didn’t even hear of them. After not being encountered for some time, nearly threatened bush dogs show up in Panama.
- The elusive dog population is very hard to pinpoint due to the animals’ reclusiveness
- They are known to live throughout Central and South America
- Only one foot tall at the shoulder, they usually run in packs of 10
- Bush dogs are one of the rarest species caught on camera
- Experts claim the species of canid to be naturally rare
The tiny canid species is extremely rare and reclusive, only being photographed a few times, and making it very hard for experts to get a good reading on their population, distribution, and even most habits.
This most recent photo was taken by a camera in Panama, as part of a camera trap system.
Certain parts of the tropical forest are equipped with these trap cameras, snapping pictures whenever an animal passes in front of it.
There is quite a large number of cameras, and all are running day in and day out, with their main focus being a larger study on large mammals such Jaguars; they are in use by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.
In order to more specifically present the rarity of bush dog sightings, the researchers that found the pictures said that the animals only appeared on 11 days out of the total 32,000 (32,000 days of total footage, collected from all the cameras).
With a diet consisting of small rodents and occasionally armadillos, the small canid species might have a hard time spreading over the boarder to Costa Rica, as the experts suggest they will, due to declining food sources and rapid deforestation.
Currently having the status of “near threatened”, it’s not necessarily that the animals are nearing extinction, but they simply are very reclusive, and only go out to eat. This is why experts from the International Union for Conservation of Nature dubbed them as naturally rare.
Additionally, being so small and going out in packs of 10, they are even harder to spot.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature considers the animals to be quite widespread, reaching a large portion of Central America and of South America, including Paraguay, Panama, and Argentina.
Image source: Wikimedia