Rare Bush Dog Unexpectedly Photographed (LOOK)By Russell Westerholm
A team of researchers captured images of the rare bush dog, a foot-long canid native to Central and South American tropical forests.
According to Discovery News, Speothos venaticus is considered "near threatened" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The researchers detailed their indirect encounter with the bush dog in the journal Canid Biology & Conservation.
"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," study co-author Ricardo Moreno, a research associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, said in a press release. "The bush dog is one of the rarest species that we photograph."
The researchers caught the images of the bush dog with a camera trap that was not initially set up for such a specific task. Rather, the STRI was trying to gather images of larger jungle animals for a broader study.
"The cameras fortuitously snapped photos of bush dogs at four sites ranging from Cerro Pirre near the Colombian border in eastern Panama, to Santa Fe National Park in the western part of the country," read the STRI's release. "To give some idea of the difficulty of studying the species, photos were obtained on only 11 occasions out of more than almost 32,000 camera-days (the number of cameras multiplied by the number of days they were in operation)."