Indian wolf

The Indian Wolf

The Indian Wolf

4 minutes reading – 803 words

SUMMARY

1) Habitat of the Canis Indica
2) What the Indian wolf looks like ? 3) What does the Indian wolf eat ?
4) Habits and lifestyle
5) The reproduction of Indian wolves
6) Protected species status
7) Ecological role
8) Fun facts about these animals

For a long time it was believed that the Indian wolf was a subspecies of the grey wolf and was recognized as the Canis lupus pallipes, the same as the Iranian wolf. However, recent genetic research suggests that the Indian wolf has not crossed with another subspecies for over 400,000 years, making it a species in its own right, the Canis indica. The Canis lupus pallipes would then designate the wolves of the Arabian Peninsula, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but not of India.

1) Habitat of the Canis Indica

The Indian wolf is adapted to brush, grasslands and semi-arid pastoral environments. It is mainly found in the Indian states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. As for the Iranian wolf, it is found in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Israel, Turkey, Iran and Syria. Its territories cover an area of 250 to 400 square kilometers. Much of the habitat of the Indian wolf overlaps with that of the Himalayan wolf, so one wonders why the two do not cross each other.

2) What the Indian wolf looks like ?

The Indian wolf is one of the smallest subspecies of wolves. Its size varies from 60 centimeters to 1 meter long and its weight from 18 to 27 kilograms. It has a short, sparse coat that is usually reddish and tawny in color. It does not have a lush winter coat because it lives in warmer conditions. Indian wolves have a short, fine coat in summer, although the hair on the back remains long even in summer. It is thought to be an adaptation against solar radiation. The hair is grayish black, especially on the back, which has a dark V-shaped patch around the shoulders. The limbs are paler than the body, and the underside is almost entirely white. Puppies are born brown, with a milk-white spot on the chest that fades with age. The Indian wolf (Canis indica) is relatively smaller and genetically distinct from the Iranian wolf (Canis lupus pallipes).

indian wolf photo
indian wolf

3) What does the Indian wolf eat ?

Because of its small size, the Indian wolf can sometimes feed on small ungulates, rabbits, hares and rodents it finds. However, much of the wildlife that the Indian wolf used to feed on has disappeared because of humans. As a result, the Indian wolf is often forced to prey on livestock. This brings it closer to humans, including unsupervised children whom the wolves consider a game.

4) Habits and lifestyle

The habits of these animals are similar to those of other subspecies of grey wolves. However, Indian wolves generally live in small packs rarely exceeding 6 to 8 individuals. They are also relatively less noisy and have rarely been heard howling. Indian wolves are territorial and hunt at night. Each member of the pack hunts for its own food, however, when it comes to large prey such as antelopes, they prefer to hunt in pairs. One of the wolves is usually used as a decoy while the other attacks from behind.

5) The reproduction of Indian wolves

The mating season of the Indian wolf is usually around October, after the rains. This is very different from other wolf species. Only the alpha male and female of the pack reproduce. Usually, a litter of 3 to 5 pups is born in December or January in an underground den. The mother and father take care of the young until the age of 6 months.

6) Protected species status

Although it is supposed to be protected as an endangered species in India under Schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Act 1972, the Indian wolf is still hunted because of its attacks on children and livestock. The greatest threat to the survival of the Indian wolf is persecution by poison and habitat loss due to intensive agriculture, development and industry. A study published in 2004 estimated between 2000 and 3000 Indian wolves remaining in the wild in India.

7) Ecological role

Feeding on a wide variety of animal species, Indian wolves can control the number of their populations, which benefits the different animal and plant species in their range.

8) “Fun” facts about these animals

Indian wolves are used to attack children. This phenomenon has even been called “child abduction”. Indian wolves play a central role in Rudyard Kipling’s series “The Jungle Book”, in which a pack of wolves adopts the wild child Mowgli and teaches him how to survive in the jungle. They also protect him from the Bengal tiger Shere Khan. In Iranian culture, Indian wolves are still mentioned in contemporary cautionary tales told to children who misbehave.

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