Why are wolves endangered in India?


  • With only 3,100 wolves remaining in India, they could be the next to disappear.

About Indian Grey Wolf

  • The Indian grey wolves are one of the oldest wolf lineages in the world.

    Indian Grey Wolves
    Photo Source: Times of India
  • They are smaller and leaner compared to their European and American counterparts.
  • The Indian wolf is highly adapted to the hot, arid plains of the subcontinent.
  • In India, wolves are in the same category of endangerment as tigers.
  • The Indian grey wolf is protected under schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • As a subspecies of the grey wolf, it is found across much of peninsular India inhabiting scrub, grasslands, arid and semi-arid areas in the subcontinent.
  • The species is presently confined to parts of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Karnataka.
  • The Deccan plateau (Maharashtra) is probably the last remaining connected breeding population for this species in the world. 

Cause of Concerns

  • Habitat loss is a primary threat to the survival of this species.
  • Native habitat is barren wastelands that are now actively prioritised for development activities.
  • But on the other hand, there is also no wildlife sanctuary dedicated to the preservation of Indian wolves.
  • A recent study shows that less than 5% of open natural ecosystems in the country are protected.
  • They are under threat from another unlikely source: dogs.
  • Wolves and dogs have an uneasy love-hate relationship.
  • If a wolf is unable to find a partner, then it may mate with a dog, resulting in wolf-dog hybrids.
  • This genetic dilution of wild genes may eventually result in an evolutionary disadvantage for the wolf.
  • It could be robbed of its ability to hunt prey. In turn, dogs may also pass on deadly diseases to wolves.


  • The survival of the Indian wolf depends on nomadic pastoralist communities.
  • Experts say that wolves can be saved by protecting their natural habitat and by recognising the connection between humans and these animals.




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