assistance needed

Janice at Janice at
Tue Aug 15 11:48:03 CDT 2000

We are gathering data to propose a revision of the naming of the New Guinea
Singing (Wild) Dog, native to the mountains of New Guinea, back to its
original designation Canis hallstromi (current majority consider it -
without any study - "just" a form of feral domestic dog).  This small
relative of the Australian dingo, although rarely studied in captivity and
not at all in the wild, appears to have several unique physical and
behavioral traits compared to C. lupus and C. familiaris.

These canids may be on the verge of extinction.  The documented captive
breeding population is currently only about 50 highly inbred specimens. If
they attain species status again they would be one of the most endangered
canids. I would be happy to discuss them and encourage anyone interested to
contact me directly.

Meanwhile, I am sending this message because we need the assistance of
someone who can quantify NGSD skeletal material, using sets of commonly used
measurements.  This would facilitate comparison to nearest relatives in the
revision discussion.  Preferably this person would be experienced in canids,
but that is not required. I have two complete skeletons, which I will donate
to Univ. of Kansas canid collection after they have been examined and
measured.  The only other NGSD material available in the USA right now are
two complete skeletons at the Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology and one
frozen specimen soon to be donated to the Univ. Kansas museum.

Of course, anyone who assists us with this data would be given credit for
their contribution or, if they are able to do full comparison to domestic
dogs and wolves, co-authorship on the resulting paper (very small carrots
<G>).  The NGSDCS has only a small research fund (we are a tiny
organization), but we would be happy to fund raise in order to pay a
reasonable fee for this service if that is customary (medium size carrot).

Other areas yet to be explored are Singer physiology and internal anatomy.
One recently concluded study of NGSD vocal apparatus (N = 8) has revealed
they have a unique throat anatomy compared to domestic dogs.  Every time
someone bothers to look at NGSDs they find something unusual!  Anyone else
curious about these "sprits of the mountains" as the New Guinea aboriginal
people call them?

Janice Koler-Matznick
New Guinea Singing Dog Conservation Society
5265 Old Stage Road
Central Point, OR 97502 USA
jkoler at

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