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Indian Wolf with the scientific name Canis lupus pallipes or Canis indica is one of the gray wolf subspecies.
There are around 37 subspecies which are known to exist around the world under the species name Canis lupus. They are also called as Iranian wolf.
These are spotted in various places like Western India, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel. It is genetically said that the Gray wolves are the ancestors of domestic dogs. It falls under the Canidae family and order Carnivora. The quick classification of Indian wolf is specified below,
|Subspecies||Canis upus pallipes|
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The under parts have less fur and are white colored. They have long hair on their back.
They are pack-living animals. The group may include their family members like mated pair, offsprings and adopted wolves. They size may vary from 8-30 individuals. They have a teeth count of 42. They are 26 to 35 inches at height at the shoulders and 3-5 feet (100 - 150cm) lengthy body. They weigh about 16-60 kilograms and the tail is 12 to 20 inches long.
|Common name||Subspecies name||Distributed Areas||Pictures|
|Eurasian wolf||Canis lupus lupus||Western Europe, Himalayan Mountains, Russia, China and Mongolia|
|Tibetan wolf||Canis lupus chanco||Kashmir, Tibet, China, Mongolia, Korea, shensi, Yunnan and Sichuan|
|Dingo||Canis lupus dingo||India, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and New Guinea|
|Domestic dog||Canis lupus familiaris||Worldwide|
|Indian wolf||Canis lupus pallipes||Western India, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel|
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The other subspecies of wolf that is distributed in other countries are as below:
Alaskan tundra wolf (Canis lupus tundrarum), Alexander Archipelago wolf (Canis lupus ligoni), Arabian wolf ( Canis lupus Arabs), Arctic wolf (Canis lupus arctos), Baffin Island wolf (Canis lupus manningi), Buffalo wolf ( Canis lupus nubilus), Eastern wolf (Canis lupus lycaon), Greenland wolf (Canis lupus orion), Hudson Bay wolf ( Canis lupus hudsonicus), Labrador wolf (Canis lupus labradorius), Mackenzie River wolf (Canis lupus mackenzii), Mackenzie Valley wolf (Canis lupus occidentalis), Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi),
Northern Rocky Mountains wolf (Canis lupus irremotus), Red wolf (Canis lupus rufus), Steppe wolf (Canis lupus campestris), Tundra wolf (Canis lupus albus), Vancouver Island wolf (Canis lupus crassodon). Yukon wolf(Canis lupus pambasileus), † Bernard's wolf(Canis lupus bernardi), † British Columbia wolf(Canis lupus columbianus), † Cascade Mountain wolf(Canis lupus fuscus), † Florida Black wolf(Canis lupus floridanus),
† Gregory's wolf(Canis lupus gregoryi), † Kenai Peninsula wolf(Canis lupus alces), † Mogollon Mountain wolf(Canis lupus mogollonensis), † Newfoundland wolf(Canis lupus beothucus), †Hokkaido wolf(Canis lupus hattai), †Honshu wolf(Canis lupus hodophilax), †Manitoba wolf(Canis lupus griseoalbus), †Southern Rocky Mountains wolf(Canis lupus youngi), †Texas wolf(Canis lupus monstrabilis).
† - denotes extinct subspecies.
The Indian wolf prefers habitats like scrublands, grasslands, remote areas, semi-arid pastoral lands and wilderness where they could find food in abundance and highest prey biomass. Indian wolf is distributed in India around various states like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Their territory ranges between 100 and 500 square miles.
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Velavadar National Park: Velavadar National Park which has a grassland ecosystem is
located in Saurashtra region of Gujarat with an area of about 34.08 sq.km.It has implemented the conservation program for animals like Wolf ,Black Buck, and Florican.
The other fauna here are foxes, jackals, wild pigs, hares and Jungle Cats.
Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and National park: The Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and National park is situated in Gujarat with an area of 1153.42 square-miles with rich flora and habitat. The wildlife here includes Wolf, Nilgai (Blue bull, Sambar deer, Chital, Jackal, Hyena, leopard, lion and Langur Monkeys. Jeep safari is conducted in order to view all the wildlife at this park.
Wild Ass Sanctuary: Wild Ass Sanctuary is situated at Rann of Kutch, Gujarat with an area of 4953.71 square kilometers. The fauna here includes Wolf, Nilgai, Pelican, Chinkara, Blackbuck, Onager (wild Ass), Fox, etc. This park is under Wildlife protection Act of 1973.
Desert National park:Desert National Park is located in the Thar Desert area of the Great Indian Desert located in Rajasthan. It is one of the largest national parks covering an area of about 3162 sq.km. It has an excellent ecosystem with the majority of camels and the other animals like Desert Fox, Bengal Fox, Desert Cat, Wolf, hedgehog, Black Buck and Chinkara. Camel Safaris are arranged to view the biodiversity of the park.
Panna National Park:Panna National Park is located in state of Madhya Pradesh and mainly spreads out in the northern parts of the state around the Vindhyan Range and extends over Panna towards the Chhatarpur districts. This park was established in the year 1981 and covers an area of 543 Sq.km. The principal fauna here are Chinkara, Spotted deer, Bear, Panther, Blue bull, Tiger, Sambhar, Wild dog, Wolf, Jackal, Monkey, Crocodiles and apart from this birds of many species are also found here.
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The food habit of Indian wolves varies depending on the availability of the prey.
They majorly prefer flesh of large to small-sized ungulates.
Their medium and small sixed prey includes animals like marmots, foxes, red deer, roe deer, wild boar, hares, polecats, mice, ground squirrels, musk deer, wild goats, hamsters, rodents, voles, livestock, carrion, water fowl and its eggs and garbage.
When the food is deficient they go for preys like lizards, snakes, toads, frogs and big insects. At times they also eat their young and humans.
These carnivores supplement their food with fruits such as blueberries, grapes, mountain berries, lily, cowberry, apples, pears, melons and vegetables. They can thrive without food for extended periods and will not become weak at any cause. They usually hunt in pack. The one from the wolf pack distracts the prey from its herd, which is then hunted by the other pack members from behind.
The mating usually happens during the period between January and April. They are monogamous when their living location has low wolf population. At this time the pairs remain together until one die. They are polygamous when wolf population is high which happens primarily in captivity. They attain sexual maturity at the age of 2-3 years which in turn depends upon the environment factors such food and population statistics.
The male create their territory and mate in their area. During pregnancy the female remains at the peripheral zone of the territory. The gestation period lasts for about 60-75 days. They give birth to 5-6 pups and during the delivery period the old females accompany them. The born pups are very soft and covered with grayish–rown colored fur.
The new born pups are blind and deaf. The mother weans the young for 8-10 weeks. They are trained to eat a part of the killed prey at the age between 3 and 4 weeks. The offsprings stay with its mother and father until an age of 6 months. They live to a maximum age of 13 years in wild and in captivity until an age of 16 years.
Population of Wolves in India
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A study released in 2004 revealed that there are around 2000-3000 Indian Wolves distributed across various Indian states like Gujarat,
Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The wolf population density is estimated as one per 12 square kilometers to one per 120 square kilometers.
International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red list has classified the species as 'Least concern' since Indian wolf is wide spread and the population statistics seems to be stable, eventhough they encounter some threats.
The major threats declining the Indian wolves numbers are hunting, persecution by poison, habitat loss and attack by humans. Since there is a growth in human population and the rural areas are shifted to cities the natural habitat of wolves are ruined which eventually leads to survival problems. The humans tend to kill the wolves when they try to attack their livestock that grazes in the habitat of wolves. Wolves are being hunted for their fur and traded to other nations.
Indian wolf is included in the Appendix I of CITES in order to prohibit hunting of these species. It is in the Wild life protection Act at Schedule I. Protected areas have been implemented across its range. Steps have been taken to increase the wild prey for wolves.
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1. These species are capable of running at speeds of 56–64 km for continuous 20 minutes.
2. Wolves aren't kept as good guard dogs because they have the tendency to afraid of the strange faces and hide rather than barking.
3. Wolves run with the help of their toes, which aids them to stop and turn quickly when running at a rapid speed and in addition it prevent their paw pads from wearing down.
4. They can hear sound from a distance of upto 10 miles.
5. A hungry wolf can consume around 20 pounds of meat in a single meal.
6. They can swim upto 8 miles distance with the help of their toe.
7. Their call is addressed as "Howl".