Rare dog that ‘sings’ rediscovered after scientists thought it was extinct

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A rare dog that "sings" has been rediscovered in the wild.

The New Guinea Singing Dog has a unique howling style and was considered extinct.

But on Monday scientists announced they had discovered that wild dogs living near a gold mine in New Guinea's highlands are in fact the same animals.

It reappeared after an incredible 50 years.

James McIntyre, president of the New Guinea Highland Wild Dog Foundation, said: “The locals called them the Highland wild dog.

“The New Guinea Singing Dog was the name developed by Caucasians. Because I didn’t know what they were, I just called them the Highland wild dogs.”

Heidi G. Parker, of the National Institutes of Health, added: “For decades we’ve though that the New Guinea singing dog is extinct in the wild.

“They are not extinct. They actually do still exist in the wild.”

It was also said by scientists that the paper makes clear "that these populations have been continuous for a long time".

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The animals were first discovered in New Guinea in 2016 but the evidence has only recently been published that they are "signing" dogs.

A journal article published by PNAS read: "We provide DNA-based evidence for an ancestral relationship between highland wild dogs (HWD) and captive NGSD suggesting that the founding population of the NGSD is not, in fact, extinct and that HWD should be resourced for conservation efforts to rebuild this unique canid population."

Researcher Elaine Ostrander said: "They look most related to a population of conservation biology new guinea singing dogs that were descended from eight dogs brought to the United States many, many, many years ago.

"The conservation dogs are super inbred; (it) started with eight dogs, and they've been bred to each other, bred to each other, and bred to each other for generations, so they've lost a lot of genetic diversity."

  • Animals

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