Lima, E. de S., Dematteo, K. E., Jorge, R. S. P., Jorge, M. L. S. P., Dalponte, J. C., Lima, H. S., & Klorfine, S. A. (2012). First telemetry study of bush dogs: Home range, activity and habitat selection. Wildlife Research, 39(6), 512–519.
Context The bush dog (Speothos venaticus) is difficult to observe, capture, and study. To date, indirect evidence and opportunistic field observations have been the primary sources of information about the species’ ecology. Field data are urgently needed to clarify the species’ ecological requirements, behaviour and movement patterns. Aims The present study uses 13 months of telemetry data from a group of bush dogs to begin to address questions about area requirements, habitat preferences and movement patterns of this difficult-to-study species. Methods We tracked a group of bush dogs (two adults, one juvenile, four young) in an area of intact and altered Cerrado (woodlandsavanna biome) in eastern Mato Grosso, Brazil (Nova Xavantina District). Key results The group had a total home range of 140km2 (fixed kernel 95%), with smaller seasonal ‘subareas’ (areas used for 12 months before moving to another area, with repetition of some areas over time) and demonstrated a preference for native habitats. Conclusions The bush dog’s home range is greater than that of other canids of the same size, even correcting for group size. Patterns of seasonal movement are also different from what has been observed in other South American canids. Implications From our observations in the Brazilian savanna, bush dogs need large tracks of native habitat for their long-term persistence. Although the present study is based on a single pack, it is highly relevant for bush dog conservation because it provides novel information on the species’ spatial requirements and habitat preferences.
© 2012 CSIRO.