Asiatic Wild Dogs (Dhole)
GS 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
Why in News?
A recent study has discovered a reduction in Dhole occupancy in Karnataka’s Western Ghats, from 62 percent in 2007 to 54 percent in 2015.
Asiatic Wild Dogs (Dhole) & threats:
- The dhole is on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species and is protected under Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 in India.
- Globally, dholes have disappeared from approximately 82 percent of their former range.
- The Western Ghats perhaps supports the largest dhole population in the world and is therefore a critical conservation landscape for the species.
- Massive infrastructural initiatives in the area, human intrusion in protected zones, change in land-use pattern, forest fragmentation and loss of forest cover are some of the reasons for the decline in dhole population.
- The presence of semi-feral, free-ranging domestic dogs in unprotected forest areas might be another reason for the decline in dhole occupancy.
- Free-ranging dogs affect dholes as they compete with dholes for similar resources like prey animals.
- Moreover, these dogs often carry lethal and non-lethal disease pathogens that could result in the spread of diseases in the dhole population.