The mysterious bush dog: a rare canine species in the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve

At one of the most bio diverse places on earth, Yasuní National Park and Biosphere Reserve, you have a unique opportunity to become one of the few people in the entire world who have seen the enigmatic “Bush Dog”! Increasingly rare, this adorable wild dog is one of the many endangered species we are pleased to call our neighbors here near the Kichwa Añangu Community. While there are plans to breed them in captivity, the amazon rainforest is one of the few places tourists are able to see this amazing animal in its natural habitat, the naturalist guide Diego Torres Garzón had this wonderful encounter and caught these images in camera:

A-Rare-Canine-Species-in-the-Yasuní-Biosphere-Reserve

A trip to the Ecuadorian Amazon basin and its communities is the best and most responsible choice when exploring the Amazon as it ensures the continuation of an entire aboriginal people’s self-determination and ongoing stewardship of the Amazon and ensure this beautiful landscape, which is home to more species than anywhere else on the planet, continues to remain so for many more generations to come. Don’t forget to snap that once-in-a-lifetime photo to remember your journey and become a “member” of the international community of responsible travelers.

Bush-Dog

Scientific name  

Atelocynus microtis; Speothos venaticus. *Misidentification between the two species is common as they coexist in the same areas and are both elusive.

Description

A mysterious member of the Canidae family, the “Short-Eared Bush Dog” is a rare species of wild dog. It is designated “Near Threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. It is comparatively small for a dog, more akin to the size of a house-cat, as it stands only about a foot (30 cm) tall on stubby legs and weighs approximately 10 pounds. This small canine is thought to be diurnal, hunts rodents as its primary prey, and wears a fur coat sporting different hues of reddish-brown.

Habitat and range 

The Bush Dog inhabits a wide variety of lowland rainforest habitats including Terra Firme and Swamp Forests, and notably favors swimming in Amazonian rivers and creeks as many sightings of the species have reported. However, likely due to growing threats of habitat loss, they have adapted to other eco-zones such as foothill forests up to 2000m. Their previous known range was easternmost in Brazil, westernmost in Peru, southernmost in Bolivia, and northernmost in Colombia. However, this has recently been expanded as sightings have now been recorded as far as Central America.

Atelocynus-microtis

Diego Escobar is Marketing Director at Napo Wildlife Center. Napo Wildlife Center is an eco-lodge offering unforgettable experiences in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador, inside Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, which is managed by the Añangu kichwa aboriginal community.

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Comments (1)

  1. Very neat Diego. I never heard of this canine before, so it needs to be a rare find as I am a nature nut ;) The Amazon is so massive and encompassing that new species seem to pop up regularly. We know little of the world out there and explorers in the more remote regions introduce us to a brand new world. Definitely need to see your beautiful Ecuador too :)

    Ryan

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