News / Science & Technology

    ‘Elusive’ Bush Dog Caught on Camera

    Bush dogs are seen in this camera trap photo taken in the wet tropical forests of Pirre, Darién Province, Panama, March 20, 2015. (Ricardo Moreno)
    Bush dogs are seen in this camera trap photo taken in the wet tropical forests of Pirre, Darién Province, Panama, March 20, 2015. (Ricardo Moreno)

    Related Articles

    Video Test Tube Pups May Help Rescue Endangered Species

    Understanding in vitro fertilization of dogs will also help unveil genetic basis of some of the more than 350 disorders that humans share with dogs, scientists say

    Officials Ready to Drop Manatee from US Endangered Species List

    Number of ‘sea cows’ off Florida coast jumped from 1,200 in early 1990s to about 6,300 today; boats are leading cause of death, injury to Florida's manatees

    Habitat Loss Seen as Rising Threat to World's Migratory Birds

    Problem most acute in North Africa, Central Asia and along the coasts of East Asia, where countries maintain relatively few protected areas
    VOA News

    Biologists say they have captured photos of one of the most elusive dogs in the world.

    The photos of the bush dogs, which live in Central and South America, may also prove the rarely seen and threatened species is somewhat more common than previously thought.

    The photos were taken using automated camera traps - using infrared sensors - in remote areas of Panama by Ricardo Moreno, a research associate for the Smithsonian Institution.

    "Our group of biologists from Yaguará Panama and collaborators are working on an article about big mammals using camera trapping data that spans Panama from the Costa Rican border to the Colombian border," said Moreno. "The bush dog is one of the rarest species that we photograph."

    Bush dogs, or Speothos venaticus, are “short-legged and stubby, standing only about a foot (30cm) tall at the shoulder,” researchers said.

    Like other dogs, bush dogs hunt in packs of up to 10 and are known to “speak” to each other using “high-pitched whines.” They eat mostly large forest rodents.

    To get an idea about how elusive the bush dog can be, photos of the dog were obtained only 11 times over the course of 32,000 camera days, the number of cameras times the days in operation.

    According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, bush dog populations have dropped by up to 25 percent over the past 12 years, meaning it is classified as a “near-threatened” species.

    While they are not directly hunted and killed by humans, habitat loss is having an impact. The dogs are believed to range over areas up to 700 square kilometers.

    It is estimated that Panama lost 15 percent of its rainforest from 1990 to 2010.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Gnarlodious
    January 21, 2016 1:08 AM
    Too many humans.

    by: Gabi from: Ohio
    January 20, 2016 11:02 PM
    I had a pet bush dog. It hid under the bed & never came out. Now I know why.

    by: CW
    January 20, 2016 10:48 PM
    They resemble prehistoric animals. No telling what secrets the earth still conceals...

    by: Rick
    January 20, 2016 9:24 PM
    But are these creatures actually part of the canine family or some other species?

    by: holy crap from: ny
    January 20, 2016 8:34 PM
    Pretty cool. they know better to stay away from humans. wonder if there is an island of undiscovered animals somewhere.

    by: KC from: CA
    January 20, 2016 7:13 PM
    How very interesting. Another species we have not seen. We definitely need to preserve as much habitat as possible for all species.
    In Response

    by: 1taz from: usa
    January 20, 2016 11:54 PM
    Even if it is 100% human fault, we need evidence the species is critical for preserving before suggesting any human-caused reduction is potentially negative. Getting rid of rats is a good thing. No threat of them going extinct any time soon.
    In Response

    by: Bozo from: Ga
    January 20, 2016 10:29 PM
    I say the Bush dog (unlike other stupid animals) is smart enough to survive.Nature does away with animals that are stupid and are of little use in the food chain. Dont blame it all on humans .

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora