Singing Dog Not Extinct In The Wild After All

Photo of a Highland wild dog taken in 2020.
Photo: Anang Dianto, PTFI Papua Province, Indonesia
New Guinea singing dogs are native to the remote mountainous Highlands of the island of Papua New Guinea. They are an ancient breed related to the Australian dingo and, instead of barking, they produce distinctive singing sounds.

Currently they exist in captive populations, bred from a handful that were collected from the island, and their numbers are no more than 300 in total. They were thought to be extinct in the wild but recent research shows that Highland wild dogs of New Guinea are effectively New Guinea singing dogs that managed to survive mostly hidden away from humans all these years. New findings, published in the journal PNAS, confirm that Highland wild dogs are very genetically close to the captive singing dog population, more than most any two breeds of domestic dogs are from one another.
Our lovely old dog, Liz, physically resembles these dogs but lacks the musical talent. Whenever anyone asks about her breed Mr. Nag jokingly answers that she is a New Guinea singing hound. Surprisingly, people believe him.

My dog Liz

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