The 11 Most Endangered Canine Species
Dogs are heartthrobs of many, and on the top of that if it's rare breeds we're talking about, then hearts of dog lovers start beating twice as fast! Here is a list of some rare and unique dog breeds, along with interesting information including characteristics which make them unique.
1: Fennec Fox or Fennec
The Fennec is the smallest species of canid in the world; it has originated from Sahara of North Africa. Its most characteristic feature is uncommonly large ears. Its name comes from the Arabic word “fanak”, which means fox, and the name of species Zerda comes from the Greek word Xerox which means dry. It’s coat has adapted to high-temperature, low-water desert environments.
In some parts of the world, the Fennec is considered an unusual pet. Its the smallest fox in the entire world, weighing just over 2 pounds (1 kilogram).
Another unique speciality Fennecs have is that they are able to jump especially high for their size. From standing position, they have been known to jump 2 feets.
The Fennec Fox is an omnivore and will eat whatever is available. Plants are a large part of their diet but they also eat insects, small rodents, reptiles, birds, and eggs that have been left unguarded.
2: The Cape Fox or Maltose
Maltosis are the canid from dog family also called Cape Fox, Big-eared Fox or bat-eared fox, found in open, arid areas of eastern and southern Africa.
Maltosis are like the red fox in appearance but have unusually large ears. These fox are yellowish gray with black face and leg along with black-tipped ears and tail. Cape foxes are mainly active in night, they lie up during the day. They are opportunists and known to hunt and eat reptiles, rabbits, spiders and birds. They also eat eggs and carrion and most insects or fruits.
3. Arabian Red Fox
The Arabian Red Fox is a subspecies of the Red Fox native to Arabia. It is similar in colour to the common Red Fox but Arabian Red Fox appear to have thinner bodies and longer legs. It’s much smaller than European Red Fox and its ears are much larger which serve to dissipate heat.
The Arabian Red Fox also has fur between its toes which prevents burning of the feet. Its slender body, large ears and long tail confer it a different appearance than other red foxes.
These foxes are most active at night.
Their diet consists of rodents, birds, and fish as well as some desert vegetation or even carrion.
4. Tanuki or Raccoon Dogs
Tanuki is a member of the canid family but is not a true dog, they are also known as Magnut and because of their resemblance to a Raccoon they are known as Raccoon dogs. They are native to Asia and they live in pairs or small groups. Male Tanukis are helpful fathers, bringing food to their pregnant mate and helping to raise the young.
Raccoon dogs suffer and die for their fur in intensive confinement operations in China and Finland, and their fur has been widely faked as fur of different species. Raccoon dogs feed on insects, rodents, amphibians, birds, fish, reptiles, mollusks and carrion. Apart from their extensive fur and resemblance with raccoons, they have another quality that makes them to unique - they do not bark like foxes but growl.
5. Bush Dog
It’s a different kind of dog, known by the names such as Savannah Dog or the Vinegar Dog. Their French name is Zorro. They come from the Amazon basin and other parts of South America. Adult Bush Dogs have soft long brownish-tan fur, with a lighter reddish tinge on the head, neck and back, accompanied with a bushy tail. But the puppies are darker in colour and tinges are usually not visible.
These dogs are very shy and it is difficult to spot them in the wild. They are always found living near water and they are top notched swimmers. They have ability to swim and even dive underwater. Their shy nature and extraordinary swimming talent makes them unique. Bush dogs are the only species left living naturally in the wild, without human intervention, in the genus Speothos.
6. Ethiopian Wolf
Ethiopian wolf is a very rare canine species and is native of Ethiopian hills range. There are just a few Ethiopian wolves left, only around 500. The Ethiopian wolf is also known as the Abyssinian Wolf, Abyssinian Fox, Red Jackal, Simien Fox and Simien Jackal.
These wolves have a long pointed muzzle and weigh between 11 - 19kg. Their long muzzle and slant body mark a distinction from other wolfs of same canine. Another speciality is that during the mating season red colour coats of female will change to pale or light brown. They never attack men. In winter they grow long hair; in summer, they are hairless. They live in a small pack of 5 to 9 members but they hunt alone.
7: The Maned Wolf
The Maned Wolf is the only species in its genus. It’s appearance is very different from the wolves. It appears to have a mane and more closely resembles a fox than a wolf.
Maned Wolves are native of South America, and they live in Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Northern Argentina.
Maned Wolf is also known for its distinctive appearance such as its large body, long, slender legs, feet and muzzle, which has earned it the nickname of “fox on stilts”. Unlike other large canids (such as the Gray Wolf, the African Hunting Dog, or the Dhole), the Maned Wolf does not form packs and hunts alone. Their small teeth and jaws make it hard for them to kill large animals.
They have almost no natural enemies, but are in great danger because people kill these wolves for their body parts, believed to have magical properties and certain of its organs have medicinal healing powers.
8: Darwin's Fox
The Darwin's fox is also known as Darwin Fox, Darwin's Zorro, Zorro de Darwin. Darwin's Foxes are named after Charles Darwin. They are the smallest fox of all fox species.
Darvin’s Fox has a thick coat of greyish-black color with rust-like colouring on the legs and around the ears, and a dark grey tail. It’s differentiated from the gray fox since its darker, has shorter legs and a broader and shorter skull. Darwin's fox has a vast range of choices when it comes to diet, in dense forests where it exists. The foxes hunt for mammals, reptiles, beetles. Sometimes it selects fruits and berries
9: Arctic fox
The arctic fox is recognized as the white fox, polar fox, or snow fox. It is a small fox native to the Arctic regions. It has a deep thick fur which is brown in summer and white in winter. It is well adapted to living in cold environments. White fox prey on any small animals, like voles, ringed seal pups, fish, and seabirds.
This beautiful fox is recognized by IUCN, in the list of critically endangered.
10: Icelandic fox
The Island Fox has descended from the mainland gray fox and is one of the smallest canid species in the world. But they are the largest native terrestrial mammal on the Channel Islands. The Island Fox is one third smaller than its mainland ancestor - the Gray Fox. Island Foxes hunt in day time unlike Gray Foxes, which hunt only at night to avoid predators. Island foxes don’t have natural predators, allowing them to be active during daylight hours.
A decline in Island Fox populations was identified in the 1990s, when Golden Eagles were an uncommon visitor to the island. Golden Eagle was an uncommon visitor to the Islands before 1990s and Island Foxes were easy hunt for them.
11: Rare Alaskan Wolf
Alaskan Wolves are members of the family Canidae and are commonly found in most of Alaska. These wolves are genetic source of all modern breeds of domesticated dog. Their subspecies exists only in South-East Alaska. These wolves are genetically distinct from other North American wolves.
Their count has declined sharply in the last few years. Gray or black is the most common colour for them. The pelt colour of wolves living in Alaska ranges from black to nearly white. They are pack animals and lives in pack of 2 to 20, sometimes up to 30, but they hunt alone. Usually they do not attack man. But in recent times, some incidences have been reported, when Alaskan Wolves killed some natives in Canadian region.
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© 2014 ARADHYA