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Rare dog breed thought to be extinct discovered alive and well in the wild

new guinea singing dog howling dog-wow
© Silver Cross Fox - YouTube

The rare breed was thought to be extinct in the wild, existing only in zoos and conservation centres around the world. But a recent discovery shows this may not be the case.

By Justine Seraphin

Published on the 09/09/2020, 19:00, Updated on the 15/09/2020, 10:09

In fact, the last sighting of one of these dogs in the wild dates back to 2016 when an expedition located and studied 15 wild dogs in the remote highlands of Indonesia.

Since then, no sightings were made, and it was assumed the population had dwindled down to numbers which made them impossible to recover.

Study reveals surprising information about New Guinea Singing Dog

But in 2018, another team returned to the site to perform further studies, and made an incredible discovery.

In addition to finding New Guinea Singing Dog scat and hair samples, confirming there were a still a few around, they made another exciting find.

Highland Wild Dog vs New Guinea Singing Dog

After extracting blood samples from another breed in the area, the Highland Wild Dog, researchers found that their DNA was closely linked to the New Guinea Singing Dog’s. In fact, the differences in the two breeds’ genomes are so slight that researchers believe there’s a chance they could inter-breed to help both of their populations grow in size and diversify genetically.

New Guinea Singing Dogs are well known for, you guessed it, their singing! Their vocals are powerful and impressive, what a relief to know there’s still a chance for them to rebound!

Find out more about primitive dog breeds!

See also: Extraordinary find points to the divergence of dogs and wolves