Saturday, January 21, 2012

Researchers Help Protect Indian Wolf Habitat

An Indian wolf resting

It has been recently reported that a series of efforts conducted by a team of researchers has resulted in protection of a 30-square kilometer Indian wolf habitat. The 10-member team under a Rajasthan-based NGO called Tiger Watch consisted of researchers from Fergusson College, University of Mumbai, and University of Kent's Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology. A four-month expedition in the Banas region of Rajasthan's Greater Ranthambore area by the team has confirmed the presence of wolves. However, this area was also facing major threats due to sand mining and leveling for construction and cultivation. After discovering the threats, the district authorities have declared the area as a "protected community land" (PCL).
A skull of an Indian wolf

I'm very happy to see what steps researchers in India are taking regarding the endangered species. One of them is the Indian wolf. Like the lion, the tiger, and the leopard, the wolf is also the top predator in the ecosystems. But over the years since the days of the British Raj, it has faced numerous threats including loss of habitat and natural prey. This, in turn, forced the wolf to go in search of easier prey: people. And because of the lack of habitat and prey, the wolf had been labeled as a maneater by both the local people and British colonists. Even today, populations of these wolves are seen around "human-dominated agro-pastoral landscapes," according to Pooja Rathod of Fergusson College. This indicates that a number of wolves are seen outside protected areas. And it is therefore crucial to protect and conserve them by any means necessary. The reason is not only because they are a keystone species, but these wolves are part of an ancient clade which has not interbred with any other wolf population. This makes them a separate species from the gray wolf.

View article here

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