First confirmed records of the bush dog (Carnivora: Canidae) for Costa Rica

José F. González-Maya, Diego A. Gómez-Hoyos, Jan Schipper


The bush dog, Speothos venaticus, is one of the rarest and less known carnivore species, distributed from Panama to Argentina, with most of the information for the species derived from anecdotal records. To date, there are no previously confirmed evidences for its occurrence in Costa Rica. Here we present the first confirmed records of the bush dog for the country and a new elevational record for the species. During extensive camera-trap surveys in Las Tablas Protected Zone, Talamanca Mountains of Costa Rica, we detected bush dogs in a primary montane forest at 1,500 m. The low frequency among our survey, and the absence of previous records, despite surveys for over 10 years in the area, reinforce the idea of the cryptic behavior of the species and its natural rareness. The species’ distribution may be underestimated.

Keywords: camera-trapping, Central America, species of cryptic behavior, distribution.

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