According to the Smithsonian Associate Researcher, Ricardo Moreno, a very rare specimen, the bush dog was photographed in Panama. The news of the photograph spread wildly because the wild dog species is one of the rarest that have been caught on camera.
The researchers were in Panama to study other large mammals, like the jaguars. In order to do this, they set up some camera traps. But they were pleasantly surprised after discovering that not only jaguars were caught on film, but also the rare and elusive bush dogs.
The fact that the bush dog was photographed in Panama bears great significance for researchers that are trying to find out more about their hunting patterns, and at the same time raise awareness on the species. Because of the rare instances in which the bush dog is photographed, their existence is overseen by societies that are trying to preserve the habitat of the rare wild dogs.
The Speothos venaticus, or the bush dog, is a canid species typically located in Central and South America. The canid is very stealthy, researchers believing for years that it is extinct. They are rather small, with small feet and a mouth. The bush dog mainly feeds on small rodents and travels in packs of 6 to 10 specimens.
It is believed that the Speothos venaticus is related to the maned wolf that lives in Central Africa and the African wild dog. He is the only surviving species from the Speothos genus. It may be possible that he survived because of its very shy nature.
The bush dogs are also called the vinegar dog (cachorro-vinagre) in Portuguese or vinegar dog (perro vinagre), vinegar fox (zorro vinagre) and water dog (perro de agua) in Spanish. This multitude of names only comes to prove that the canid is very rarely seen, and people are not very educated about its existence.
The fact that the bush dog was photographed in Panama recently can only come to the help of the scientists and activists that are trying to protect the species. Even though they are not hunted, they suffer greatly because of the loss of their habitat. According to the researchers, their numbers have decreased dramatically over the years and they have been declared a near threatened species.
Ricardo Moreno, the researcher that accidentally photographed the bush dog says that from 32,000 instances that the cameras took, the bush dog appeared in 11. And those are considered lucky shots. You can imagine how rare the animal is sighted.
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