Julio Cesar Dalponte, Ph.D.
Biologist, Universidade do Estado de Mato Grosso
Location: Private land located in Nova Xavantina, Mato Grosso, Brazil
Research: Obtaining Basic Ecological Information on the Bush Dog (Speothos venaticus): Information Essential to Developing a Species-Specific Conservation Strategy
Species/Topic: Bush dog (Speothos venaticus)
Abstract: While the 1990 IUCN Canid Action Plan recommended field research efforts be directed at understanding the poorly understood and potentially endangered bush dog (Speothos venaticus), no intensive field studies were initiated until recently. In June/July 2004, a group of three individuals was captured on private land in Nova Xavantina, Mato Grosso, Brazil. The two adults (1.1) were fit with radio collars, a first for this species, and are currently being monitored in order to gain insight into the bush dog's basic ecological requirements. In addition, efforts are underway to capture and collar additional individuals in the area. Understanding how the bush dog uses this fragmented habitat is essential for a comprehensive conservation strategy for the species, as this type of area is inevitably going to increase in the near future despite the conservation efforts of many. Funding from Small Grants will provide essential supplies to ensure the continued monitoring and collection of basic ecological data for this population and others in the area.