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Important Facts For Prelims

Dholes

  • 07 Feb 2022
  • 2 min read

Why in News?

A new study has reported the presence of dholes or Asiatic wild dogs in the high mountains of Central Asia nearly 30 years after their presence was last recorded.

  • The animals have been discovered in the Bek-Tosot Conservancy in the Osh region of southern Kyrgyzstan, a few kilometres from the Tajik border. It lies in the Pamir mountain range of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, China.

What do we Know About Dholes?

  • About: Dhole (Cuon alpinus) is a wild carnivorous animal and is a member of the family Canidae and the class Mammalia.
    • They are also known as Asian wild dogs.
  • Habitat: 
    • Historically, dholes purportedly occurred throughout southern Russia, all across central Asia, south Asia and southeast Asia.
    • According to recent research and current distribution maps, they are restricted to south and southeast Asia, with the northernmost populations in China.
    • In India, they are found in three clusters across India namely the Western and Eastern Ghats, central Indian landscape and North East India.
      • Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh rank high in the conservation of the endangered dhole in India, according to a study (2020).
  • Ecological role: Dholes play an important role as apex predators in forest ecosystems.

What is the Conservation Status of Dholes?

Why is their Population Decreasing?

  • Ongoing habitat loss: Due to deforestation and fragmentation of forest corridors.
  • Depletion of prey base: Ungulates are the main prey of dholes whose population is rapidly decreasing due to excessive hunting and habitat loss.
  • Persecution due to livestock predation and disease transfer from domestic and feral dogs.

Source: DTE

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