Village Dogs Hunting Chital, Nagarahole

Submitted by Jayanth Sharma
Jayanth Sharma
Village dogs are known reservoirs of epidemic-causing pathogens of many wild carnivores.

The backwaters of Kabini in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve  is subjected to chases, kills and predation by stray dogs alleged pets of the tribals who live and work near the Balle part of the national park. On two occasions, I noticed up to three dogs chase spotted deer over long distances. One such chase was nearly for a kilometre though the deer managed to maintain the distance as they vanished in to the woods.

In India most wildlife reserves have large human settlements both within and on the periphery. Dog populations in these settlements travel into wildlife habitat, increasing the potential for pathogen transmission to wildlife. In addition to posing as competition to wild carnivores, village dogs are known reservoirs of epidemic-causing pathogens of many wild carnivores.

Editor’s note: Also read Where village dogs succeeded in making a kill.

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