Wolves Chased by Dogs, Pune Grasslands

Mihir Godbole


Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

Harassment and competition for food from feral dogs, as well as the danger of hybridisation, threaten the last remaining wolf populations in India.

Grasslands are always neglected and, more often than not, deemed to be ‘wastelands’. In reality, grasslands are a treasure trove of biodiversity. And it is in these spaces that one of India’s endangered species thrives – the Indian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes). The wolf has adapted to living in close proximity to humans, as it gets an advantage of being able to prey on livestock or domestic fowl.

But with this benefit comes a bane, in the form of the domestic dog that is almost always the shepherd’s companion, and feral dogs that belong to no one. In this image, feral dogs were chasing a pack of wolves on the outskirts of Pune. These feral dogs compete with wolves for their natural prey and transmit deadly diseases like rabies to these isolated wild populations. The additional threat from feral dogs is that they could mate with the wolves in these grasslands, which has been observed even in the Himalayas.

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About the author

Mihir Godbole

Mihir is associated with the Pune-based Grassland Trust.


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