Wild Canids suggested as Flag-bearers to expand Conservation Enterprise

Conservationists are highlighting the need for conservation of wild canid species in India and how they can be ‘flag-bearers’ for India’s conservation enterprise.

Wild Canids in India

India has 23% of world’s terrestrial carnivore species. It has 8 species of wild canids: dhole, golden jackal, Indian wolf, Tibetan wolf, red fox, Indian fox, Tibetan fox and desert fox. India also boast the striped hyena- one of the 3 hyaenid species in the world.

Distribution

The wild canids in India occupy a wide range of habitats- significant portion of which coincides with humans dominated landscape. Tropical forests are inhabited by the dholes; scrublands, grasslands, open lands and ravines house the hyenas, golden jackals, Indian foxes and the Indian wolves; north-west’s arid lands house the desert fox and the Himalayas and the trans-Himalayan plains house the red foxes and Tibetan wolves.

Wild Canids- India Project

The Wild Canids- India Project is an initiative to map the distribution of the wild canid species in India and help in their conservation. It uses a combination of government open-source database, social media, citizen science and literature surveys. The project received some 4,500 records from citizen scientists and 1,500 records via social media. The project is an example of decentralized process of data collection for conservation efforts.

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