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Country’s first wild dog breeding centre to be created IGZP in Vizag

Feb 19, 2014 11:50 IST

Central Zoo Authority on 18 February 2014 selected the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP) of Vizag for creation of a conservation breeding centre for the endangered wild dog – Dhole. This will be the first zoo in India to have a breeding centre for Dholes and it will be created in two to three months. 50 lakh rupees will be invested to undertake the project.

IUCN has classified Dholes as an endangered species. The population of wild dogs has gone up from just two to 22 in the country in a series of successful in-breeding of wild dogs in the zoo. 22 is the highest number of wild dogs in captivity in India.

Cause identified by IUCN for dwindling number of wild dogs or Dholes

• Habitat loss
• Depletion of prey base
• Persecution and possibly disease caused from domestic and feral dogs
• Interspecific competition as the destruction of forest corridors has lead them to fight with other predators

Assessment Information of Dholes by IUCN

• 2004 – Endangered
• 1996 –     Vulnerable
• 1994 –  Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)
• 1990 –     Vulnerable (IUCN 1990)
• 1988 –  Vulnerable (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
• 1986 – Vulnerable (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Conservation Actions to protect Dholes in India
In India, the Dholes is protected under Schedule 2 of the Wildlife Act of 1972 (permission is required to kill any individual unless in self-defence or if an individual is a man killer). The creation of Project Tiger Reserves in India has provided some protection for populations of the dukhunensis subspecies as potentially it is thought that the Project Tiger could potentially maintain dhole prey bases in areas where tigers and dholes coexist.

About Dholes/Wild Dog
Dhole is Asiatic wild dog or Indian wild dog. Its scientific name is Cuon Alpinus and it is a species of canid native to South and Southeast Asia. It is the only extant member of the Henus Cuon that differs from Canis by the reduced number of molars and greater number of teats.

Dholes at one point of time were found throughout the continent but the species is now endangered. It has been estimated that less than 2500 mature individual Dholes are available anymore. Ungulates are the main prey of dholes that has also suffered high depletion in their population. Many species of ungulate has now extinct and others are rare and the habitat loss is the main reason for their extinction apart from hunting. These dogs attack large and dangerous animals such as wild boar, water buffalo, and even tigers.

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