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.
- 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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