There are several serious perceived threats, including: 1) human encroachment and loss of intact habitat due to large-scale agriculture (e.g., soybean), conversion of land to pasture, and large-scale plantations of monoculture trees (e.g., eucalyptus, pine); 2) reduction in prey abundance due to illegal poaching and domestic dog predation; and 3) increased risk of contracting lethal diseases from domestic dogs (proximity to human populations and hunting dogs (DeMatteo 2008).
Canid-related diseases are a threat not previously identified for Bush Dogs. However, field evidence supports that pathogens may be transmitted by domestic dogs, and the effects can be potentially devastating, mainly due to the species’ group living (Mann et al. 1980, Steinel et al. 2001, Leite Pitman, Nieto et al. 2003, Jorge, Morato et al. 2007, Jorge, Nunes, et al. 2007, DeMatteo 2008, Jorge et al. 2008, E.S. Lima, K.E. DeMatteo, R.S.P. Jorge, M.L.S.P. Jorge, J. Dalponte, H.S. Lima, and S. Klorfine, pers. obs.). E.S. Lima, K.E. DeMatteo, R.S.P. Jorge, M.L.S.P. Jorge, J. Dalponte, H.S. Lima, and S. Klorfine (pers. obs.) observed this effect when a generalized hair loss, suspected to be a type of mange, gradually spread through a group of wild Bush Dogs, eventually killing all individuals. In addition to mange, parvovirus and rabies are diseases reported as negatively effecting wild populations (Mann et al. 1980, DeMatteo 2008). The species has been identified to be susceptible to both Dioctophyma renale and Amphimerus interruptus (museum collections - Vierira et al. 2008), Lagochilascaris sp. (Volcán and Medrano 1991), and as a host for Echinococcus vogeli (Cestoda: Taeniidae) (Rausch and Bernstein 1972). Captive animals have been identified as susceptible to a variety of diseases and parasites, including parvovirus (Janssen et al. 1982), vaccine-induced canine distemper (McInnes et al. 1992), leishmania (Lima, Fattori et al. 2009), Spirocerca lupi (Rinas et al. 2009), Toxoplasma gondii (Sedlak and Bartova 2006), and Campylobacter (L. Saboia pers. comm.). With the latter, 13 of 15 individuals in a large family group suddenly died from severe haemorrhagic enteritis when they contracted Campylobacter from an infected Coati that they were inadvertently fed (L. Saboia pers. comm.). This loss of multiple animals in a short period emphasizes both the species sensitivity to various diseases and the susceptibility of group living species to pathogens. With increasing proximity to human areas and intrusion into protected areas with hunting dogs, the risk of exposure to disease is potentially high. Exposure to disease may also result from feral or semi-feral, non-vaccinated, domestic dogs that regularly hunt prey independent of humans (K. DeMatteo pers. obs.). DeMatteo (2008) noted that in Brazil more problem interactions were noted to occur between Bush Dogs and domestic dogs than with livestock, which only emphasizes the threat of disease to the species.