Suggestions on where to see Speothos

Would anyone be able to suggest a reliable location to observe bush dogs?

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    • tomeslice

      Jk, I first wanted to just write “lol” to summarize my initial reaction, as this is a very highly sought-after species that a lot of people would like to see, and yet relatively few people have.

      The truth is, I’m secretly trying to find a reliable place. My guess is: when a place is found, it will probably be in Brazil, probably in Pantanal or Cerrado-like semi-open areas. The problem is that they cover so much ground, so even if they’re there 1 day they can me gone the next day and then not seen again for month.
      But with that said, I, like Jon, believe a place exists for every species so I’m still waiting for a place to be found.


    Thanks JK, Please get back when you find THE place. I assume they must den up when they have small young. I was hoping maybe someone knew of such a location. Question is whether they would den in the same general area for multiple years as some pack species tend to do.

  • Nathan Myhrvold

    I just spent a week in the Brazilian cerrado and I am part way through several weeks in pantanal. I ask about bush dogs everywhere. My guide says he saw three of them once in the northern pantanal while working on a research project, but in 10 years of guiding since then has not seen any. Meanwhile a guide who has worked for 37 years in Emas national park, and actually has lived inside the park as caretaker for 30 of those years, said he’s never seen one.

    I was also in Argentina at El Palmar – a guide there told me that in the extreme northeast of Argentina there is a piece of Atlantic forest and they are sometimes seen there.

    So add me to the list of people who want to see one, but doesn’t know where to go.

  • Jon Hall

    This is the million dollar question. They are everywhere and nowhere between southern Costa Rica and northern Argentina it seems and are perpetual wanderers. I was within 24 hours of them near Manaus. Napo Valley seems one of the better areas with a few sightings there. But this is pretty much my most wanted species … so like Tomer says, one day I hope we will find a spot.

  • Nathan Myhrvold

    More pestering in the northern pantanal had the result that I talked to a couple of trained guides who have seen bush dogs as roadkill on roads north and east of Cuiaba, which is where the pantanal gives way to other giher and dryer ecosystems. The only more elusive canid is probably the short eared dog Atelocynus microtis. Which is also impossible to see but has a smaller range than the bush dog, and that range is dense amazonian jungle that is more difficult to spot things in.

    • Jon Hall

      Short-eared Dogs used to be fairly easy to see at Palmari Ecolodge in Brazil near Leticia. I saw one there during my first night in the forest. I don’t know anyone else who has been but the website used to have a pic of one sitting on the boat ramp!

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