Rare sighting of vinegar dog is recorded in MS. Know the species; watch video – Globo Rural Magazine

Rare sighting of vinegar dog is recorded in MS. Know the species; watch video – Globo Rural Magazine
Rare sighting of vinegar dog is recorded in MS. Know the species; watch video – Globo Rural Magazine

A rare sighting of a vinegar dog was spotted in Mato Grosso do Sul. Two adults and three young were seen in an area of ​​eucalyptus planted forest by the company Eldorado Brasil, in the municipality of Inocência. An employee, during a routine inspection, recorded the animals on video. Rodrigo Fernando de Souza, who made the record, said he asked his friends and no one knew that animal (watch the video).

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According to a statement released by the company, the species is classified as “near threatened” with extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and as “vulnerable” by the Ministry of the Environment (MMA) of Brazil.

“If we look at the Cerrado, the species is even more threatened: it could be extinct in up to 100 years, due to the reduction of populations in this biome, caused by diseases transmitted by domestic dogs and hunting”, explains ecologist Elson Fernandes de Lima, project manager at the environmental consultancy Casa da Floresta, in the statement.

According to Eldorado, monitoring similar to what ended up seeing the vinegar dog is frequent. Sighted species are identified and recorded in an internal control. In Mato Grosso do Sul alone, the company has around 250 thousand hectares of planted forests. In these areas, animals such as the puma and giant armadillo, among other species, have already been spotted.

Meet the vinegar dog

The bush dog is considered a close relative of the maned wolf, wild dog and field fox (Photo: Carlos Delgado)

The bush dog (Speothos Venaticus) is native to Central and South America. It is considered a close relative of the maned wolf, crab-eating fox and field fox. According to a publication by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), they generally live in groups of two to 12 individuals.

Appearances among humans are extremely rare. In a video sent by Eldorado Brasil to Rural Globeecologist Elson Fernandes de Lima, explains that the way of life is one of the factors that make the vinegar dog be considered rare.

“The groups are small and occur in low density in nature. It has few individuals for a landscape. This is one of the reasons for the rarity of this species, which is at risk of extinction, given this rarity and this way of life that they have”, he says.

In general, adults have long yellowish-brown fur. The younger ones have black fur all over their bodies. Adults can measure between 57 and 75 centimeters in length and weigh, on average, 5 to 8 kilograms. Its legs are short, as is its snout. The ears are relatively small, and the animal has sharp claws, larger than those of domestic dogs of the same size.


According to ICMBio, the species appears mainly in forest areas, and its presence has been verified from Panama to the southern region of Brazil – more specifically the north of Paraná – also passing through countries such as Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and Ecuador.

In Brazil, the Pantanal is considered one of the regions with great adaptability for the vinegar dog. In the Amazon, this condition is identified in the areas closest to the Cerrado, explains the ICMBio report. Studies have also indicated its presence in the Atlantic Forest.

Elson Fernandes, from Casa da Floresta, points out that the fact that adult and puppies were found in the Eldorado area indicates that that landscape allows the species to continue reproducing.

“Not just where they were spotted. That landscape, which can include a large area, with different types of land use, allows this species to continue to reproduce. And the fact of having young allows us to say the obvious: that the species is reproducing”, he explains.

Eating habits

The vinegar dog is essentially a carnivore. As it is a small animal, it usually hunts in groups. The prey, in most cases, are armadillos and large rodents, such as pacas and agoutis. It also feeds on rats, rabbits, skunks, coatis, tegu lizards, snakes and land birds. When hunting in packs, it gets larger prey, such as capybaras, rheas, deer and collared peccaries. Generally speaking, the bush dog attacks the legs of large animals until they are knocked down.

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Also according to the ICMBio report, there are several threats to the vinegar dog. Deforestation and environmental degradation are among the risks. Another danger is the overhunting of its prey, which can reduce the species’ hunting base and its ability to survive in its habitat.

Vinegar dog conservation

The National Cachorro-Vinagre Conservation Plan was launched in 2012 by ICMBio with the aim of reducing the situation of vulnerability and increasing knowledge about the species. The plan was terminated in 2016.

The species is included in the National Action Plan for the Conservation of Wild Canids, coordinated by ICMBio’s National Center for Research and Conservation of Carnivorous Mammals (CENAP). The maned wolf, field fox and short-eared wild dog are also part of the program.

According to those responsible, the program has the general objective “to reduce the impacts caused on the populations of wild canids by the alteration of habitats and by the contact with domestic animals, and to reduce the removal of individuals caused by trampling and conflicts with the human being”.

*Editor: Raphael Salomao

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The article is in Portuguese

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