What do pets and wild animals have in common? Some pets – like dogs, for instance – can easily turn back into wild animals when abandoned or let loose. This is especially true for places where people lack resources or education to properly take care of their pets. Right now, we have over 1 billion feral (wild) dogs roaming our planet, often in packs. These dogs are probably impacting native wildlife. We wanted to know whether dogs were a problem for eight naturally occurring carnivores in the Andean mountains in Ecuador. We set up over 500 camera traps with motion sensors to document whether there are fewer carnivores in areas where dogs are present. We found that roaming dogs did indeed have a negative impact on four of the native carnivores we studied.

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Summary of research
Scientists wanted to know whether feral dogs were a problem for naturally occurring carnivores in the Andean mountains in Ecuador.
Reading level
Scientific field
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NGSS standards
AP Environmental science topics
IB Biology topics
Scientific methods
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Scientist Affiliation
Publication date
July 2018

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