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A tribute to canids worldwide


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With my new found ability to sort through my old picture files, I decided to post images of various canid species whose viewing, over the years, has afforded me great pleasure.  As a dog rather than a cat person, I indulge myself by allowing a degree of anthropomorphism to creep in when I observe them (hypocritical, I know).  I hope purists will also forgive me for including the spotted hyaena in the post - I know that it's not a canid, but as a lumper rather than splitter, I'll go ahead anyway.


1.  South America - Brasil - Barranco Alto:  Crab-eating Fox


913.JPG.df824e1740219ce362786665c2b13e44.JPGAssault on kingfisher nest in bank.917.JPG.926b7128633c958c68023912381d61fa.JPG Pause for further deliberation1038.JPG.dc3abe76955494fe6fae292c52aa9ad0.JPG  Another specimen.  Frequent sightings after dark.



2.  Africa - Ethiopia - Bale Mountains:  Ethiopian wolf and Domestic livestock guarding dog


288.JPG.809daf45287fdb57bd22014966753522.JPGGet together overnight as pack.187.JPG.91823a644bccda6392d6bacf6f50bd20.JPGGo off rat hunting on their own by day.102.JPG.a7df667e1beeba0eb98f1eb8c0d93931.JPGIf successful, eat or return to give catch to cubs.340.JPG.5446797949aea244dbacadfcfb528573.JPGThen repeat the process with constant patrols.319.JPG.ec68bdd2e73a649dd87349216183c432.JPG 300.JPG.63cbdf5258410be5e225042319e88036.JPGMost wear ear tags - info on vaccination et al.


This species is massively threatened and there are probably less than 400 left in the world (c.f. 300000 elephants).  They require a specialist habitat that is being rapidly fragmented and degraded by overgazing by domestic stock.  They are also threatened by dogs used by locals to guard said stock (see below).  These threats relate to transmission of rabies or distemper and from cross breeding.


484.JPG.cb59c0b120cf3b561e79e136185b6bfa.JPG  Faithful, if dim, guard.  Staying beside roadkilled sheep .


3.  Africa. Kenya - Laikipia Wilderness Camp:  Wild dogs (Painted dogs or Cape hunting dogs)


204.JPG.7bdd3bc3eff3b853cb87fdc1a3e68d89.JPGPack sets off on hunt205.JPG.eb38f8f8f1df351155f77d96e9470071.JPG206.JPG.2a4431ee743508709ada8fbf8489f8fb.JPG235.JPG.4ebc238a6459fb5db73476f0ffecd043.JPGPortraits250.JPG.7d4783fa39308d4041236e8aec842383.JPG254.JPG.4c573cf689d2ef13728e6decd91b8c0c.JPGWell grown pups mobbing an interloper260.JPG.0c67aa7b3bc0b3b9b23be9a42a86b05b.JPGAdult guarding pups.  Rest of adults hunting.262.JPG.26e47b8b284e8d5c2876b45785a5a248.JPGPups take precedence over young adults when feeding.264.JPG.936c04d5c31a283b2e5ebbe83c8420b3.JPGHyaena with 3 others about to steal pups' lunch275.JPG.48f956dad49eff517cd5a8672417d3e3.JPG277.JPG.5148511f1cb441c8b13d40b5be4d57c8.JPG More portraits279.JPG.e5eb1e003eb031edef378765dc9f8749.JPG280.JPG.b2c84e97a43948f730f41f53cfac7a4a.JPG281.JPG.efd4aae76f98560bd436540d59eb2d0f.JPG283.JPG.ced8fd6bf49ed72d796dfe3aa9854a9b.JPG285.JPG.452417c2c61d27f004f9353575d90909.JPG291.JPG.f24eb57562a3995c9c36e8f93709d8af.JPG310.JPG.bfc0138c0712192cc7b1bee965e51689.JPGPups at play312.JPG.097e070ac87437d96d16775187e94e72.JPG334.JPG.3fab6122c331b2ccd13a49d48b0010eb.JPGWhile adults relax453.JPG.f4e86a14cd15bd18a77832102ceac9df.JPGImpala to be dealt with.436.JPG.5b524b15f90e8aecf9b9d887497e5500.JPGriver crossing438.JPG.73b3e34b1bb35571884eb4c393c8c727.JPG






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Post continued:


The wild dogs formed to main focus of our stay at Laikipia Wilderness Camp and we spent as much time as possible with them.  They were not always easy to find - even with the help of radio tracking and, on occasions, they left  LWC's boundaries and couldn't be followed.  Nevertheless, the pack's territory was relatively small due to copious numbers of dikdik and hares , the principal food supply in this area of adults with no pups.  With the extra burden of pups to feed, impala were also targeted. It was fascinating to be able to observe at close range a wide variety of social interactions within the pack, interactions with hyaenas that constantly shadowed them them and hunting behaviour.  Their wide repertoire of sounds was also memorable.  I have never enjoyed game viewing more than when following the dogs.  It is sad to me that they are so much less numerous than lions (a ratio of about 1:3), particularly as lions dominate and kill dogs.


4>  Africa.  Kenya.  Laikipia Wilderness Camp and Gametrackers' Lion Camp - spotted hyaena.



507.JPG.4f8717d1a6ed7858e947ec7ca8071731.JPG509.JPG.05920bebac09968781ffdfad4540bd0c.JPGshadowing wild dogs522.JPG.3beef552e54524fe76e0dc3375aa37e5.JPGThey can look sinister541.JPG.9c078b5a1cec681adf8eab79787cd8be.JPG543.JPG.31d83b2d97fa866a9a155a6c9cc901d7.JPG1394-001.JPG.550498d2669fd6261e7f4cf5edb0e6de.JPGI'm coming to see you.1398-001.JPG.9e6a562649fe0a16b20ca614e67188dc.JPGB..... Off1398-001.JPG.9e6a562649fe0a16b20ca614e67188dc.JPGAccidental repeat1462-001.JPG.17105f9d8508f8df75c67a5e6c165d93.JPG428-001.JPG.70812091173b8490af1cac923c998d0d.JPGCan look cute427-001.JPG.263597f4c628ea3c0f89f39bb8e8a8be.JPGor cuter


These animals live in clans in which females are dominant over males.  Perhaps it's because they have no external vulva and, instead, a pseudo penis!  Whatever, it produces difficulties for females when they give birth through these organs, which split during the process and may take weeks to heal, particularly as birth weight is high relative to adult female weight.


The species has reasonably high cognitive abilities which by some tests, match those of chimps and may exceed those of elephants.  Why, then, do so many worry over the fate of elephants when they are at least ten times more numerous than spotted hyaenas and probably no more mentally blessed?


5.  Africa.  Kenya -  Mara Conservancies.  Black backed jackal




The jackal is a smart- looking, resilient survivor.  It relies on hunting small prey and on scavenging.


6 Africa.  Kenya - Mara Conservancies.  Bat-eared fox




Endearing to look at.  Faces, perhaps, resemble those which could belong to mischievous gremlins.


I'll stop at this stage and go on to Asia and Europe tomorrow.

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A veritable feast for the eyes @douglaswise. (Nice little rhyme there...)


Thanks for sorting and posting.



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I would like to add two pics to this collection if allowed.



Every morning I start my PC this Eyes are the first what I see. 

Liuwa Plains in 2012



African Golden Wolf (Canis anthus) - Chad: Lake Ounianga 2019 


The African Gold Wolf, thanks to a new study conducted by researchers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, is the first newly discovered Wolfsart for 150 years. DNA tests in 2015 has been confirmed that the African Golden Jackal line separated by gray wolves and coyotes about 1.3 million years ago. However, the Eurasian Golden Jackal line split off about 600,000 years ago. Although both lineages look very similar, there are two distinct species based on current knowledge. African line as African Gold Wolf (Canis anthus) will henceforth be performed. The Eurasian line will retain its name Golden Jackal (Canis aureus).


It was something very new for me. 

Edited by Botswanadreams
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7.  Asia.  India - Corbett and Maharastra Tiger Reserves.  Jackals:





First, I must apologise that some of the Asian images have recently been posted on another thread.  I believe that all Indian jackals are, in fact, golden jackals.  If  I'm wrong, I hope someone will correct me  Those I saw in  Corbett seemed woolier (or shaggier) than those I saw further south.  However, this may merely have been due to differences in stages of moult.




8.  Asia.  India - Maharastra Reserves.  Dhole:







Dholes are very appealing and look not unlike Ethiopian wolves.  However, their legs are probably shorter in length and their underparts less white.  They were my top target species for India, but are much less likely to be spotted than tigers..  This is unsurprising as they are both significantly less numerous and are typically grouped together in packs.  I was lucky to see one distant pack and the lone individual shown above.  This was a young adult which had either lost it pack or which was striking out alone in "the hope" of establishing a new one.


The severe declines in many canid species are indicative of habitat loss and anthropogenic changes that are unrelated to international criminal gangs who poach.  The focus of many preservationists on anti-poaching measures to protect less vulnerable but supposedly more charismatic species than some canid ones seems, to me, to be ill directed.  (Of course,  I could be accused of being somewhat hypocritical in that I find the animals I've been discussing more charismatic than lions, rhinos and elephants.)


9.  Europe.  Romania - Transylvania.  wolf:


I think it only right to give a nod to @michael-ibk.  It was his trip report on the Danube Delta that stimulated us to go this year.  The couple of friends with whom we had chosen to travel wanted to add time in Transylvania (wildflowers, scenery and pretty old villages/churches).  The Delta experience was very much as Michael described and, as my photos couldn't compare with his, I didn't prepare a report of my own.  When there, I was massively impressed with the sounds (birds, but more particularly frogs), and the large numbers of cuckoos and hooded crows  (as regard the last mentiond, I should, perhaps, add that my impression wasn't necessarily favourable.  We did actually see a golden jackal in the Delta, but it wouldn't pose.  My main interest in Transylvania was going to be a bit less cultured and flowery and I arranged for visits to two different bear hides ( wild bears come out of the forest to be fed close to the hides.  We saw plenty of bears which assembled there - all somewhat wary of each other, but, in my view, less interested in the food than in checking out their neighbours.)  On the first hide visit, just as the light was fading, we were extremely fortunate at the arrival of a lone wolf (the first to have been seen at that hide in 15 months).  I understand that wolves are doing well in Romania, but are rarely seen except at long range through telescopes.  Below are two poor quality images:





10.  Europe.  Romania - Transylvania and UK (home in Cambridgeshire).  Red fox


The second bear hide visit afforded a fox.  Back in the UK, foxes are numerous and, this summer, having given up my shoot, I have watched a vixen walk past my window carrying rats and even a hare (with difficulty) back to her cubs - born some 100 m from my back door.  Not long ago, she took the family to a new location, but not before passing within 5 m of my chair in the house by the window (and the telly) and permitting the cubs a brief game on the lawn.  This is an example of zonal conservation at work.  Had I still been operating my shoot, this would not have been tolerated.  UK numbers are thought to be around 350000, having fallen somewhat since the hunting ban.  The ban has made control easier because the protection afforded to foxes in hunting countries has reduced.  Despite my wonderful sightings of foxes, especially this summer, I have taken no photographs.  However, a couple of years ago, our spy camera was aimed at a food bowl which my wife had put out for hedgehogs (in a very dry summer).  The food was being taken, but I wanted to ensure that we were feeding hedgehogs and not rats.  I was very surprised by the blurry image shown below.  A hedgehog and a fox were feeding together from the bowl and the hedghog had not rolled up.  This surprised me because our dogs are mazed with hedgehogs and are always retrieving balled up specimens, which have to be delivered to hand and released unharmed.  Furthermore, badgers are well known to kill hedgehogs and are capable of forcing balled up ones open and eating them via their unprotected abdomens before discarding the skins and their spines.





11.  Europe.  Romania and UK.  Working domestic dogs.


Finally, I come to the world's most successful canid - the domesticated dog, evolved from the grey wolf.  I have read the opinion of an anthropologist (of which I'm more than a little sceptical) that modern man owes his dominance over neanderthals (with whom he coexisted) entirely due to the fact that the former kept dogs while the latter didn't.  This allowed modern man to subcontract to dogs the task of predator detection and avoidance, allowing him to reduce brain space for olefactory function and replace it with reasoning power.  I assume dogs and man were commensals until such time as full domestication occurred (maybe the Ethiopian guard dogs still fall into this category).  Anyway, dogs evolved and were trained for many useful functions relating to domestic animal protection and herding and for hunting.  All wild dogs have erect ears.  Domestication has resulted in many floppy-eared breeds.  Anyway, there is much in favour of the notion that dogs are man's best friends.





The Romanian dog's role is to protect sheep from wolf attacks rather than to herd them.  I have added an image of it's handler because he was more photogenic!  The final pair of images (2014 and 2015) were taken on our small shoot at home (when it was still extant).  In both, my wife is shown with her labrador team of pickers up, the function of which is to find and retrieve all shot game that cannot readily be picked by hand.


My report is now finished, but it would be good to see the addition by others of different images, particularly if they were of other species.



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Lovely images, and the Fox with hedgehog is an amazing sighting!

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@douglaswise My Indian Mammals book by Vivek Menon says Golden Jackal with four subspecies but not well studied in India:

 - Common Jackal (Canis aureus aure) north-western India

 - Indian Jackal (C.a. indicus) northern India

 - The southern India subspecies (C.a. naria)

 - The north-eastern subspecies not much known about its discription 

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@pedro maia:


I was in Brasil in 2016 (May 28th-June 10th).  A party of 4.  We flew in to and drove out of Barranco Alto, our only destination.  We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and saw an amazing variety of birds, giant anteaters, giant and neotropical otters, crab eating foxes, 2 armadillo species, 3 deer species,  2 species of peccaries, feral pigs,  masses of capybara, howler monkeys, vampire bats and, sadly, only one distant tapir.  No jaguars (though present), but they were lower down my bucket list than anteaters, giant otters and tapirs.


We witnessed most impressive cattle round ups and indulged in a bit of fly fishing.  Unfortunately, though we caught piranha, we failed on our target of golden dorado.  Furthermore, a caimen bit through my rod and destroyed it!


A really good holiday.  

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Sorry.  I meant to address the above post to @Matias Cox to whom it was intended as a reply.  I have previously said that I'm a lumper and not a splitter.  I hope, therefore, that I can be forgiven for mixing up two Latin -sounding names!  (Or is it a cse of "when you're in a hole, stop digging".)

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@douglaswiseHowever dog like they appear, hyenas are not candids. They are neither dogs nor cats but spotted, striped, brown hyenas and aardwolves are members of their own family, Hyaenidae. 


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@optig Douglas does make a comment about the inclusion of hyaene at the commencement of this post, recognising that that are not canids. Perhaps you missed it..............


@douglaswise  I am enjoying this compilation and found your hint of anthropomorphising amusing. You DO have a soft hard although you hide it well :rolleyes:






Edited by wilddog
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