Papuan Dogs – Footnotes and Research Papers

Published by: Thomas Schultze-Westrum

Footnotes (F…)

F1: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 2006: Ref.: New Guinea Singing Dog“ Quote: „Once thought to inhabit the entire island of New Guinea, today wild populations are thought to be extinct, with captive specimens numbering 100 – 200.“

F2: New Guinea Singing Dog Society web site 2006 – Research.

F3: dto. – Home, three quotes: „Originally declared a unique species, canis hallstromi, in 1969 they were grouped with the Australian Dingo as a feral wild (wild-living) subspecies of the domestic dog, Canis familiaris dingo.“ „ … a wild animal that until recently was tamed (but not domesticated) companion only to Stone Age tribes.“ And: „Until the NGSD is once again officially declared a separate subspecies or species, traditional conservation orgnisations are understandably unwilling to spend funds saving an animal of questionable taxonomic status.“

F4: www.wolfpark.org, 2006, quote: „ The New Guinea Singing Dog (NGSD) has lived wild in the New Guinea highlands since prehistoric times.“

F5: RareBreed Network, 2006, quoted from The New Guinea Singing Dog Club of America: „The New Guinea Singing Dog is a natural breed of wild origin.“

F6: The Vancouver courier, August 05, 2004, Rare dog a tuneful howler, quote:The New Guinea Singing Dog Conservation Society „wants to promote the dog’s conservation both in the wild and in captivity. Although in 1969, New Guinea singing dogs were grouped with the Australian dingo as a feral wild sub species of the domestic dog, the organization is working to have them declared (!) a separate species or sub species.“

F7: BBC – Radio 4 – The New Guinea Singing Dog, 26th April, 2005, quotes: “New Guinea Singing Dogs are small red dogs from the remote highland forests of New Guinea, where they live alongside exotic creatures such as birds of paradise, tree kangaroos and cassowaries… Singers do have several characteristics that mark them out as different from other dogs, both domestic and wild.“

F8: cf.ref. BBC – Science & Nature – Wildfacts, 2006.

F9: Basenjis & New Guinea Singing Dogs ((http://singingdog.freeyellow.com), 2006, quote: „Both Basengjis and NGSDs … come from wild origins and are not a man made breed.“

F10: Quote from KOLER-MATZNICK and BRISBIN, 2001: „The NGSD is a distinctive form of wild dog indigenous to the mountains of New Guinea.“

F11: Quote from KOLER-MATZNICK et al. 2003: „The NGSD has often been dismissed, without investigation, as a feral domestic dog, based on its morphological similiarity to Canis familiaris.

F12: Basenjis & New Guinea Singing Dogs (http://singingdog.freeyellow.com). Home: Understanding the Two Breeds. Quote: „They are part a big part of our family, live in our house, even sleep in our bed!“

F13: „The North American NGSD population had only four founders“ (KOLER-MATZNICK et al. 2000). These individuals originate from three locations: the original Hallstrom pair was captured 1956 in the Lavani Valley of the Southern Highlands District of Papua New Guinea (PNG). From it’s progeny a pair was sent to San Diego Zoo, Califonia, in 1958. This brother/sister pair were the original founders of the North American population. San Diego Zoo also sent a pair from their captive breeding group, in 1963, to the Institut für Haustierkunde, Kiel in Germany. The Kiel institute further received five highland dogs in 1977 from the Eipomek Valley which is located in the Jayawijaya District of West Papua (formerly Irian Jaya). From their offspring a female was sent in 1987 to Sedgewick County Zoo, Wichita, Kansas. Then, in 1994, I.Lehr Brisbin, Jr. imported the fourth founder of the North American population: a male bred at the Baiyer River Sanctuary in Papua New Guinea. This male’s sire was from the original Hallstrom (Taronga Park Zoo) line, but his dam was reported to have been wild caught in the vicinity of Wapamanda in the PNG highlands (KOLER – MATZNICK et al. 2000).

F14: cf. SHARMA et al. 2003 and the popular article by Susan Lumpkin: Hiding in Plain Sight, on the website: Conservation & Science (www.nationalzoo.si.edu), with maps and diagram. There is no reference, though, to wolf populations east of the Indian Peninsula.

F15: cf. Breeds of Dogs. New Guinea Singing Dog (www.thebreedsofdogs.com/NEW_GUINEA_SINGING_DOG.htm).

In an undated personal written communication of approx.1968 Fru I. Öhman, Atterbergsvägan 3, 683 00 Hagfors, Sweden in reference to her reserach paper in preparation (in Acta Cynologica Scandinavica – if published I cannot check) notes in reference to Papuan dogs:

„ Leider haben wir auf zwei sehr wichtige Fragen bisher keine Antwort bekommen. Die erste gilt der Hitzeperiode. Von nordischen Wölfen wird öfters gesagt, sie hätten nur eine jährlich; auch die in den Heimatländern ungestört lebenden Basenjis haben dort nur eine. Nach England übersiedelt, begannen die Hündinnen nach circa einem Decennium dem Rhythmus der dort einheimischen Hündinnen zu folgen (hormonell bedingte Reizung, von der Witterung hitziger Hündinnen angeregt?) Bis jetzt hat niemand darüber berichtet, ob Papuahunde ein- oder zweimal des Jahres Würfe liefern.

Die zweite unbeantwortete Frage gilt dem Haarkleide. Die Felle, die uns liebenswürdig zum Studium der Calvaria beigelegt wurden von dem Institut für Domestikationsforschung, Universität Kiel, waren glatthaaring. Manche Bilder zeigen Hunde, die, wie die beiden lebenden Exemplare der Zoological Society of London, die ich 1967 sah, ein längeres, mehr offenes Fell haben. Schliesslich fand ich in Brongersma: The Animal World of Netherlands NG, Groningen 1958, ein Bild von einem Papuahund (cf. fig…), der sich offenbar im Haarkleidwechsel befand, teilweise glatthaaring, teilweise vermutlich noch im Winterkleid.“

F 16: New Guinea Singing Dog Information (www.thepetprofessor.com).

F17: Official Standards of the New Guinea Singing Dog Club of America (www.rarebreed.com).

F18: Rare Breed Network: New Guinea Singing Dog Standard (www.rarebreed.com), N.G.S.D.C.A. Quote: „New Guinea Singing Dogs are active,lively and alert. They are constantly exploring everything in their environment,…“

F19: National Park Service.U.S. Department of the Interior (www.nps.gov). Quote: „It is theoretically possible for people to have entered North America from Asia at repeated intervals between 40,000 and 13,000 years ago… Well documented finds in both the southwestern United States and South America suggest that humans were in these locations about 12,000 years ago. Much closer to Bering Land Bridge, the arctic coastline was not peopled year-round until about 4,500 years ago.“

F20: from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to Pioneers of Island Melanesia on www.human-evol.cam.ac.uk, New Guinea and Australia were joined by a continent known as Sahul until about 8.000 BP.

F21: Breeds of Dogs:Telomian (www.thebreedsofdogs.com).

F22: This separate „phantom pariah dog“ of more recent introduction to New Guinea plays a role in the imagiantion of quite a few scholars contemplating about relations and validity of native dogs on New Guinea, but acknowledging only the one, the NGSD as the really autochthonous dog representative on the island – comparable only with the dingo: In a personal email letter of 14 July, 2001, Janice Koler – Matznick writes: „I firmly believe the lowland and common village NG pariah dog, which in the Highlands has of course been hybridized for maybe two thousand years with wild Singers that were caught and tamed by the Highlanders are of a separate origin than the wild mountain Singers.“ There is no evidence, though, of such separate dog strain, for the Highlands – and in the lowlands the pariah dog which is native there is THE representative without any known contemporary dog competitor prior to the introduction of foreign breeds in colonial times (cf. chapter E).

F23: according to the Fraser Island Defenders Organisation.

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F24: Upon my enquiry, Peter Savolainen replied (in his email of 2 October, 2006): „Yes, we have sequenced a few Fraser island dingoes. They all had one and the same mtDNA type (a typical dingo type) so apparently only a few animals formed the popualtion. That’s about everything we can say about them.“

F25: Savolainen et al. 2004 have included into their mitochondrial DNA study a total of 19 pre-European archaeological dog samples from Polynesia.

F26: personal communication Dr. Ute Meyer-Lemppenau, 1970.

F27: Quote from the appendix to KOPPERS 1942, by U. Duerst: „ Was nun endlich die von Prof. Koppers betonte Tatsache angeht, dass dieser Hund (note: the dog of the Bhils people in Central India) nicht bellt sondern heult, so liegt darin kein sicherer Nachweis für seine Eigenschaft als Wildhund. Paul Gervais vom Pariser Muse’um d’Histoire Naturelle schrieb im Dictionnaire des Sciences me’dicinales, Bd. 16, pg. 21, dass das Bellen der Hunde nur bei zivilisierten Völkern vorkomme, nie aber bei den Hunden primitiver Völker, die nur heulen. „ Des chiens d’Europe redevenus libres au milieu des pampas de l’Ame’rique ont cesse‘ d’aboyer et le me^me fait s’est reproduit sur d’autres points du globe dans des circonstances analogues.“

So nett das klingt, ist doch zu bemerken, dass das Bellen des Hundes in seiner Sprache den „“Standlaut““ darstellt und dann benutzt wird, wenn der Hund im wesentlichen „“Wächter““ und nicht in seiner Hauptaufgabe „“Hetzer und Jäger ist!“

I wish to add from my observations on Batanta Island (cf.main text) that dogs do not howl when hunting, but rather express various high pitch staccato vocalizations, in persue of game and when keeping a bush pig at bay.

F28: cf the chapter: „Kausalität des Friedens – Die Kommunalisierung, on p. 80 ff.

F29: Personal communications Dr. Barry Craig of September, 2006.

F30: There is no field evidence whatsoever to support the view expressed by KOLER – MATZNICK et al. 2000: „The behavior of captive NGSDs suggests that this canid must have a monogamous, non – pack social organization in the wild.“

F31: My wife Susanne (ethnography), stud. med. Wulf Schiefenhoevel (ethno-medicine) and myself (zoology and ethnography), between 20 August and 20 September, 1966. For a summary of the 1966 expedition cf. SCHULTZE-WESTUM 1968.

F32: Kim Gollan in his Ph.D thesis (1982) considered the Bosavi skull measurements as well; they stand separate from those taken from NGDS skulls. The Bosavi specimens were less robust and narrower (personal communication 16 July, 2001 by Janice Koler – Matznick).

F33: Studer had placed New Guinea lowland dogs under the species Canis novae hiberniae Lesson more than half a century before Troughton came up with his highland species Canis hallstromi.

F34: Studer 1901 gives this description of the dog population he found on New Ireland (Bismarck Archipelago north-east of New Guinea): „ Der Hund ist ein Tier von der Grösse und dem Habitus eines mittelgrossen Spitzers, nur mit höheren Läufen, das Haar ist kurz, überall glatt anliegend, auch am Schwanz, der nicht geringelt ist und wenig nach aufwärts gebogen getragen wird. Der Kopf erscheint relativ breit, die Schnauze scharf abgesetzt, ziemlich spitz. Die Ohren sind breit angesetzt, spitz und werden aufrecht getragen. Die Farbe war meist schmutzig weiss oder rahmfarben mit dunklen, meist schwarzen Flecken oder Platten, oft erstreckt sich die schwarze Farbe über einen grossen Teil des Körpers, so dass nur eine weisse Blässe, Brustfleck, oft weisser Hals und Pfoten zurückbleiben.“

F35a: Here the full quotation from FINSCH 1888 in his chapter „Astrolabe – Bai: (cf. also the reference to Hagen 1899 in chapter G): „Die Abstammung des Papuahundes bleibt auf einer Insel, wo kein einziges Raubtier vorkommt, ein Rätsel, dessen Lösung innigst mit der Herkunft des hier lebenden Menschen zusammenhängt, eine Frage, welche eine viel grössere Bedeutsamkeit hat, als es vielen scheinen dürfte. Auf Gund des Vorhandenseins von Hunden als Haustier hat die Annahme Berechtigung, dass die Papuas überhaupt ein eingewandertes Volk sind. über das „„Woher?““ will ich hier indes weiter keine Betrachtungen anstellen. Der Papuahund, in Bongu „“Sfa““ genannt, gehört übrigens jener eigentümlichen Rasse an, wie sie sich allenthalben in Neu – Guinea findet, und sich am meistern mit einem kleinen Dingo vergleichen lässt. Er ist glatthaarig, von kleiner unansehnlicher Statur, hat einen fuchsähnlichen Kopf, aber mit stumpfer Schnauze und aufrechstehenden, spitzgerundeten Ohren. Der Schwanz ist stark nach links gedreht, wird aber beim Anblick eines Fremden aus Furchtsamkeit meist hängend gehragen. Die Färbing variiert ausserordentlich, und schon hieraus spricht die lange Domestikation am deutlichsten.Im allgemeinen herrscht eine rostfahle Färbung vor, mit weisser Schnauze, Sirnmitte, Kehle, Bauch und Schwanzspitze, aber es gibt auch dunkelbraune Exemplare, solche mit weissem Kopfe und schwarygefleckte, kurzum nicht zwei Exemplare sind völllig gleich. … Eine besondere Eigentümlichkeit des Papuahundes ist, dass er nicht bellt, sondern nur heult, aber ich hörte die Hunde in Astrolabe – Bai nicht jene regelmässigen Heulkonzerte aufführen, bei dem sich alle Hunde vereinigen, und welche nicht gerade zu den Annehmlichkeiten von Port Moresby gehären. Der Papuahund ist übrigens von scheuem, feigen Wesen, sehr diebisch und schon wegen seiner geringen Grösse nicht zur Jagd geeignet, wie er kein guter Wächter ist. Gewöhnlich pflegen sich bei Annäherung eines Fremden die Hunde des Dorfes lautlos wegzuschleichen. „“Wie der Hund, so der Herr““ gilt auch für Neu – Guinea, insofern beide keine Jäger, wohl aber Vegetarier sind. Wie sein Herr nährt sich der Papuahund vorzugsweise von Pflanzenstoffen, frisst z.B. mit Vorliebe Kokosnuss, und sein bei den Papuas so sehr beliebtes Fleisch mag infolge dessen wohl nicht übel schmecken. Man hält den Hund des Essens wegen. Hunde und Schweine werden übrigens nur bei Festen aufgetischt, welche die Papua sehr lieben und mit grosser Beharrlichkeit, oft mehrere Tage lang, feiern.“

F35b  Nicolai Mikluho Maclay, the first resident (Russian) biologist on the north-coast of New Guinea (in the Astrolabe Bay region, from 1871), reported to the Linnaean Society of New South Wales his observations about indigenous dogs (quoted after Wikipedia): Maclay identified several anatomical and behaviorial differences between Australian Dingoes and dogs that inhabited the coastal lowlands(Maclay = „Rai“ Coast) of Papua Guinea. He gave the Papuan coastal canines the scientific name Canis papuensis. The differences between Canis dingo and Canis papuensis included a much smaller brain, which he attributed to the quite different lifestyles of the two animals. There were several differences in overall looks and build. In fact, the dogs he dubbed Papuan Dogs or New Guinea Dogs bore little resemblance to the canines commonly known as New Guinea Singing Dogs … which were dicovered some 80 years later. Whereas the Australian Dingo is well-known for its intelligence and boldness, as well as near independence from humans, he reported that the coastal Papuan canines remained on the periphery of native villages, regularly feeding off cast-offs and human waste. Hunting on their own was almost unknown. Instead of the bold independence of the Australian Dingo, the coastal dogs behaved very subserviently toward humans, exhibiting begging and groveling. Additionally, he stated, „The Canis papuensis is very different in appearance and character from Canis dingo; is generally smaller, has not the bushy tail of the dingo“.

F36: The venom of the snake species Aspidomorphus muelleri (family Elapidae) affects both the blood and the nervous system. I have the honour of being the first person bitten under medical observation (by our travel companion stud med. Wulf Schiefenhoevel). And Wulf published the symptons in the „Australian Journal of Medicine“.

F37: In addition to the breeding colony of „sugar gliders“ Petaurus breviceps papuanus which I had established after the first journey to New Guinea in 1959, I now brought close relatives (of the family Phalangeridae) to Munich: striped possums (Dactylopsila trivirgata), feather-tailed possums (Distoechurus pennatus) and mouse possums (Eudromicia caudata), for comparative behavioural studies.

F38: J. Koler – Matznick, personal communication (Email) of 14 July, 2001.

F39: STERLY (1962) notes: Wild or feral dogs live in the interior of several islands in the Solomons (Guppy 1858; Hopkins 1928; Paravicini1931). Ivens reports 1930 from the island of Mala that since the government had imposed a tax for dogs, their numbers in villages diminished and (instead) packs of dogs formed in the mountains which fed on giant rats, cuscus, lizards and land crabs“ (translated from the original German text).

F40: More dogs used to be reared in Kalam villages prior to the expansion of poultry keeping according to BULMER (2000). It should be noted that WILLIAMS (1936, p. 420) reports from the Trans – Fly region of southern New Guinea (a mostly savannah type country) that „dogs of the common Papuan variety are fairly numerous, esquecially of course in those regions where wallaby – hunting is a more important phase of food request. Among the Garamudi, whose gardening is so elementary, the dogs would seem to out – number the humans. In visiting the island of Inaforok I found myself in a house with eleven men and boys and between thirty-five and forty clamorous dogs; and throughout the village were to be seen litters of pups at every stage of infancy.“ Eating dog meat had been apparently a habit of tribes in the Trans – Fly region, but at the time of William’s field research of 1926 until 1932 the author notes: „The eating of dogs is usually regarded with abhorrescence.“

F41: Le Roux (1950) in his monograph of 3 volumes „De Bergpapoea’s van Nieuw – Guinea en hun Woongebied“, vol 1, p. 311, presents the following observations: „De hond, die met hert varken het enige huisdier is, wordt, behalve voor de jacht op de wilde varkens, ook in het bijzoder voor op kangaroes en koeskoes gebruikt. WIRZ is verkeerd ingelicht, wanneer hij zegt “ Fuer die Jagd kommt er gar nicht in Betracht“. Wel zijn honden over het algemeen bij de Berpaoea’s schaars; in de meeste nederzettigen treft men een exemplar aan, echter zelden meer dan een. Naar mijn ondervinding doen zij er dan ook niet garne afstand van, tenminste van de volwassen exemplaren, die voor hen voor het opsporen en opjagen van het wild van zoveel belang zijn. Onze zooloog moest aan het Paniai-meer een hoge prijs aan schelpjes en ijzeren bijlen betalen om een tweetal honden tebemachtigen. De canis papuensis komt bij de Bergpapoea in allerlei kleuren voor; zwart. geel, bruin, wit. dan wel wit en zwart gevlekt. De haren zijngewoonlijk kort en zacht. De oren staan spits vooruit: hij heeft daardoor en door zijn spitse snuit en sterk gekromde pluimstaart ongetwijfeld iets vosachtigs en vertoont enige gelijkenis met de Australische dingo. De honden die ik bij de Bergpapoea’s zag wijken duidelijk af een bij de Mamberamo-papoea’s in het Van Rees-gebergte, die er meer als de echte tropische kamponghond, degladakker, uitzen. DePapoea-honden kunnen niet blaffen, maar heffe af en toe een onaangenaam klagend gehuil aan. Vermeldenswaart is nog, dat hondstolheid op Nieuw-Guinea niet voorkommt.“

F42: for this translation I am indepted to Drs. Kees van den Meiracker, curator at the Wereldmuseum Rotterdam.

F43: If the image projected in publications, of the man – pariah dog interleationship is correct – I have reasonable doubts in this respect…

F44: In one of the authentic explorers books I came across this remark: „It used to be always a source of wonder to me where all the dogs‘ teeth used in the Pacific came from until the other day I happened to read of an action between two London firms for payment of a shipment of dogs‘ teeth made to the South Seas“ (BEAVER 1920, p. 229).

F45: Quote from WILLIAMS (1924, p. 127): „The nearest aproach to a currency“, by the natives of the Purari Delta, „ is perhaps supplied by arm – shells, but all ornaments of a similiar durability may be used. Their value varies with their size and finish. The only indigenous ornaments thus used are dogs‘ teeth. These may be paid over or presented either in the form of a string or necklet, or else arranged singly in a length of sago pith. The teeth are stuck into this, and when removed, the pith with the series of holes may be kept as a record of this number. One dozen would equal one arm – shell.“

F46: BULMER (2000) continues with her speculation stating that wild dogs in the lowlands were found „probably wherever there was sufficient uncultivated land for wild animal to be supported, but now most, if not all, lowland dogs are likely to be domesticated and live in human settlements.“ Still nowadays, appox. 80 % of the lowland areas of New Guinea provide sufficient suitable habitat for „wild animals“. And there is no evidence so far.for any conversion of wild to domestic dogs found in that vast area. It has already been noted (in chapters B and E) that the primeval forest is no suitable habitat neither for feral nor wild dogs on New Guinea, anyway.

F47: I am quoting the original specification not being able to determine whether these excavated specimens were incisor or canine teeth.

F48: I am wondering… after all these stories: Can the reader still have doubts about dogs preferring to roam free – go wild? Certainly, had I been one of those unfortunate village dogs passing through that sort of treatment I would have run away and never come back close to any human being… But, humble, faithful and enduring creatures they were, these Papuan native dogs; and some superior reason must have come up for some of them to abandon human company for good – challenging motives which were stronger than to stick to people regardless of all their weird performance over the ages.

F49: Is’nt this manifestation of affectionate behaviour a kind of counter balance against the previous footnote? I wish to remind the reader that also the Papuans own beloved children are sent through a nightmare of initiation rituals… It ought to be done that way, so the people believe, both with dogs and children, in order to get them fit for the duties and other eventualities of life.

F50: quoted from Studies in the Mountain Regions of New Guinea. The West Irian Interdisciplinary Project. State Museums of the Prussian Cultural Heritage, Berlin. Museum of Ethnology. No date.

51: The „people of the forest and the long grass“ include the dog in this old tale: it is the only hint I came across in l my search through literature and in the field, of an originally wild status of the Papuan (coastal) dog.

F52: The Wiram myth is presented at the conclusion of this book also as my respectful tribute to Francis Edgar Williams, M.A., B.Sc., government anthropologist in the Territory of Papua 1922 – 1943 who has contribued, by his carefully conducted field research and through his inspiring, always balanced personal views, an immense wealth of knowledge and bridges of understanding the Papuan traditional ways of life.

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5 Responses to “Papuan Dogs – Footnotes and Research Papers”

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