Short-eared dog spotted in Peru after 30 years

Short-eared dog spotted in Peru after 30 years

Hillary Ojeda

Researchers captured images of the short-eared dog in Puno’s jungle regions.

For the first time in Peru’s history, researchers in the jungles of Puno captured images of an animal that they had long thought to be extinct: the short-eared dog.

Also known as the small-eared fox, or Atelocynus microtis, the animal was photographed by camera traps in the Bahuaja Sonene National Park in the Puno jungle, Southern Peru, reports El Comercio.

The animal’s presence had not been detected in the Peruvian Amazon since 1987 and has been on the red list of threatened species of the International Union of Conservation of Nature (UICN) since 2013.

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Head of the protected park, David Aranibar Huaquisto, directed the project that led to the findings. He and his team installed 20 cameras to monitor the fuana of the Pampa del Heath section of the Puno jungle.

Peru's National Service of Natural Protected Areas (Sernanp) and Frankfurt Zoological Society-Peru have analyzed the images’ data. The results indicate that the specimen’s natural habitat coincides with the humid tropical savanna of Pampas del Heath.

And, the animal is a carnivore and frugivore, which makes it an integral part of dispersing seeds and enriching the local ecosystem.

The short-eared dog was first described in 1983 and little is known about it.

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