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With age comes greater success among hunting dogs

Date:
April 16, 2012
Source:
University of Cincinnati
Summary:
In conducting research on hunting dogs in lowland Nicaragua, researchers have found that older and male dogs seem to enjoy better success rates than do younger and female dogs. Also, dogs are more suited to wildlife sustainability than other hunting options. Hunters with firearms tend to disproportionately hunt prey that lives in trees, including slow-breeding primates, whereas hunters with dogs tend to harvest relatively fast-breeding animals such as agoutis, pacas and armadillos.

Nicaraguan hunters and their dogs on a hunt in the forest.
Credit: Jeremy Koster

In conducting research on hunting dogs in lowland Nicaragua, UC researchers have found that older and male dogs seem to enjoy better success rates than do younger and female dogs. Also, dogs are more suited to wildlife sustainability than other hunting options. Hunters with firearms tend to disproportionately hunt prey that lives in trees, including slow-breeding primates, whereas hunters with dogs tend to harvest relatively fast-breeding animals such as agoutis, pacas and armadillos.

The research examined variables such as age and sex on the amount of harvested game that dogs contribute from subsistence hunting in an indigenous community where such hunting has had a long and important role in community survival. Community members in the region capture about 85 percent of harvested mammals with the aid of dogs.

Among the specific findings: As both male and female dogs reach three years of age, they tend to increase their hunting success and produce greater harvests. Older, male and female dogs in the study population returned more game to their owners than did younger dogs. And bigger dogs are able to track and corral bigger prey, which increases their hunting return rates, and in general, male dogs are bigger than females.

The UC research was conducted in Nicaragua's Bosawas Biosphere Reserve, which is part of the largest unbroken tracts of Neotropical rainforest in Central America, north of the Amazon Rainforest. The researchers based the study on the hunting activities of the Mayangna and the Miskito, two indigenous ethnic groups, who live along a tributary of the Coco River, not far from the border with Honduras.

Jeremy Koster, assistant professor of anthropology, and Ken Tankersley, assistant professor of anthropology, at the University of Cincinnati presented this research at the April 18-22 Society for American Archaeology


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cincinnati. The original article was written by M.B. Reilly. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Cincinnati. "With age comes greater success among hunting dogs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416113011.htm>.
University of Cincinnati. (2012, April 16). With age comes greater success among hunting dogs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416113011.htm
University of Cincinnati. "With age comes greater success among hunting dogs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416113011.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

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