Daily Archives: February 1, 2020

Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in Bolivia

Rhett Butler reports in Mongabay:

  • Video footage of a pack of rarely-seen bush dogs has been captured by a camera trap at a ranch in eastern Bolivia.
  • The footage, was captured at San Miguelito, a ranch located about 190 kilometers (120 miles) northeast of the city of Santa Cruz.
  • The video shows a group of South American bush dogs walking down a trail through the Chiquitano dry forest, an ecosystem that was heavily impacted by fires last August and September, although San Miguelito itself didn’t experience any fires.
  • Bush dogs are distributed widely through lowland tropical forests in Central and South America, but are rarely seen.

Video footage of a pack of rarely-seen bush dogs has been captured by a camera trap at a ranch in eastern Bolivia.

The footage, provided exclusively to Mongabay, was captured at San Miguelito, a ranch located about 190 kilometers (120 miles) northeast of the city of Santa Cruz.

The video shows a group of South American bush dogs (Speothos venaticus venaticus) walking down a trail through the Chiquitano dry forest that characterizes the region.

Two of the dogs pause and turn to face the camera.

“We have been camera trapping since 2013 and this is the first video of bush dog that we have been able to capture with our one of trail cams,” Duston Larson, the owner of San Miguelito Ranch, told Mongabay. “This is an extremely rare sighting.”

San Miguelito is working to encourage ranchers not to kill predators like jaguar, puma, ocelots, and bush dogs by demonstrating ways to protect livestock from predation and generate revenue from ecotourism.

Rafael Hoogesteijn, the director for human-wildcat conflict management at Panthera, a wild cat conservation group, told Mongabay in 2019 that ecotourism has enabled Larson to diversify the ranch’s income.

“Duston is receiving additional income from tourism which is diversified source of revenue,” Hoogesteijn said. “This is a very important ranch for Bolivia because it demonstrates to other cattle ranchers that cattle can co-exist with jaguars and cattle can co-exist with ecotourism.”

“In that respect it is a pioneering example for the rest of Bolivian cattlemen. In a country that is very traditional, not with a high level of technical training, it is very important to see these examples in practice.”

Larson’s efforts seem to be paying off: In 2019 San Miguelito received 50 groups from 19 different countries. Many come to the ranch in hopes of seeing one of the area’s six species of wild cats.

“Every year our little conservation project receives a few more guests,” he told Mongabay via email. “Every tour is special and the more time we spend in nature with guests, the more exciting adventures we are able to have. For example, this year we saw a greater grison from a viewing platform.”

Pack of bush dogs caught on camera trap at San Miguelito, Bolivia.

Bush dogs are distributed widely through lowland tropical forests in Central and South America, but are rarely seen. They are most closely related to South America’s maned wolf and the African wild dog.

https://news.mongabay.com/2020/01/rare-amazon-bush-dogs-caught-on-camera-in-bolivia/