Thursday, July 16, 2015

The São Jacinto pack

During the past years I had a few close encounters with the pack of stray dogs that roams the dunes of São Jacinto. The presence of these dogs is likely causing problems for local wildlife, but as a dog owner I’m biased and must admit I’ve gotten fascinated by them. Here are reports of some of those encounters.

September 4, 2012 - In summer, when the water level of the ponds is lowest, the pack hunts on moulting ducks (which at that time are unable to fly), as well as any nesting waterbirds. The ducks try to find a safe place at the deepest part of the pond. The second dog from the right is the suspected alpha female.

March 7, 2014 – A confrontation with the alpha female and two of her pups in the dunes.

January 23, 2015 – At the beach, where they find and eat whatever ends up on the tide line (in particular beached animals). I assume the first black individual is one of the pups seen in 2014. Whether the other two on the first photo originate from the same litter remains unknown. On the second photo the suspected alpha male and female.

July 14, 2015 – The family patrols the pond again. A life any short-living Portuguese asylum dog would dream of? In the front the alpha male and female, in the back at least one of the youngest generation.