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The Sleepless Sentinel

Survival threat alarming
Wolf becomes vulnerable at south Bengal

NINB, Purulia: A random opinion survey on Wolf, Canis lupas pallipes, at the bearing districts of West Bengal provides an alarming survival threat of the very species. Once there was a wide distribution of wolf in Bankura, Birbhum, Bardwan, Hoogli, Medenipore, Purulia and Maldah districts, now became vulnerable at all the districts. An opinion reveals it is hardily seen over the last decade! A common factor in such areas is high human population, poverty, low or heavily guarded livestock, and poor wild-prey availability. Human-wolf conflicts are of serious magnitude over much of the wolf’s range districts. Majority of the wolf populations survive outside the protected areas and subsist primarily on livestock. In some areas wolves have been reported to attack children. Wolves are persecuted by smoking pups in their dens, sometimes by shooting and recently by poisoning. Distemper and rabies caused severe mortality in wolves in certain years in India. Although, major threats come from poisoning wolves and loss of denning habitat for intensive agriculture.

development and increase in mining related activities at the belt. It is a semi-desert-adapted canid that is exclusive to the eastern Indian subcontinent. In India, The Indian Wolf is mainly distributed across the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Three maternal wolf lineages exist in the Indian Sub-Continent, two of these; the peninsular and Himalayan lineages are ancient and unique to India. Recent genetic research suggests that the Indian Wolf, originally considered only as a subpopulation of the Southern-East Asian Wolf, Canis lupus pallipes, may represent a distinct species Canis indica. Similar results were obtained for the Himalayan wolf, which is traditionally placed into the Tibetan wolf Canis lupus laniger. The Indian Wolf has been recorded as having stolen children in India and suffers persecution for it and figures prominently in the animal stories written by famous novelist, Rudyard Kipling.