New Guinea Singing Dogs: The Singers
New Guinea Singing Dogs are considered a primitive dog, in fact they may very well be the most primitive dog in existence today. They are sometimes called "living fossils" as they are likely very much like dogs were in appearance and behavior 10,000 years ago. They were originally found on the island of New Guinea and it is believed that they were living there for thousands of years completely independent from humans. It is thought that at some point during the stone age people brought their domesticated dogs with them from Asia as they migrated into Australia and New Guinea. At this point in time these two land masses were combined as the sea levels were lower. These animals would have been very much like the very first dogs that were originally brought out of the wild to live in a unique relationship with man. The dog was the very first animal to be domesticated. Once these dogs made their way to New Guinea they created a wild population of animals. After this, the sea levels started to rise due to the warming after the ice age. New Guinea became the island we know today. The New Guinea Singing Dogs were now separated from any other population of dogs and were left to evolve due to purely natural means. It was not until the 1950's that these animals were rediscovered and the first of these dogs were brought out of New Guinea. Since then there have been efforts to conserve this unique animal. It is estimated that only 200-300 of these animals are in existence today.
CONSERVATION EFFORTS UNDERWAY AT THE JABCECC
At the JABCECC were are pleased to be part of the efforts to save the New Guinea Singing Dog. We are currently participating in a program to better understand the genetic diversity that exists in the captive bred population through newly available genetic testing via EmbarkVet and collaboration with geneticists and NGSD enthusiasts. This pilot study will allow us to determine the extent of the current genetic diversity in order to develop a larger program aimed at maintaining this diversity through a specialized breeding program.
RESOURCES: Want a better understanding of the origin of man's BFF?
If you would like to learn more about the origin of dogs, we suggest you check out this new book:
Now on Amazon! Dawn of the Dog: The Genesis of a Natural Species written by Janice Koler-Matznick and designed by Karen Adair
Pictures of New Guinea Singing Dogs: Photos Courtesy of various sources.