CANUS HIMALAYANSIS- rare wolf species in Nepal

Recently the Himalayan wolf was identified as a sub species of Canis Lupus(Grey Wolf) by using DNA testing.
The Himalayan wolf is now considered to be possibly the oldest living lineage existing of all wolf species today.
Sharing habitat with both the Indian wolf and the Eurasian wolf in the Himalayan region, the Himalayas is also the only place in the world where these three species of wolf exist simultaneously.

This is also supporting the theory that the India region is most likely the home of modern wolf evolution.
Even though these three species of wolf share habitat, inter species clashes are non existent.
The Himalayan wolf keeps mainly to small sections of Mongolia, China, Kashmir and India. There are only about 350 of these wolves left but only in India are they protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act.

The distribution of wolves in Nepal is not certain however there have been different direct observations and sightings in different areas. Currently it is widely recognised that Nepal has an unknown population of wolves (Canis lupus) with no baseline information on their status, behaviour, population estimates and range. There is also the possibility that the wolves found in Nepal could be a distinct species of Himalayan wolf (Canis himalayansis) rather than being a sub species of the grey wolf. Even the possibility of both species existing in the country cannot be totally ruled out since not a single study has been dedicated to explore and assess the status or ecology of this rare canid species in the country. It could be concluded from the interaction with people from different parts of Nepal that the poisoning of carcasses as a part of retaliatory actions by villagers has led to a sudden decrease in their number. No concrete conservation initiatives can be efficiently executed as long as we do not have, at least, a crude data on their relative abundance and ecology. Moreover, the relation with humans is also an interesting aspect of the species that has to be documented to get an idea regarding their current conservation status, threats to them and relevant conservation interventions.



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