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Dhole (Indian Wild Dog)

kanha-flora-fauna Dhole is the Indian name of endangered Indian Wild Dog species. Their scientific name is "Cuon alpinus". They are mainly found in national parks of Central Indian, South India and South-East India. They are mainly are among the most popular predators in the world! They are so intelligent, good looking and charismatic & almost always up to some action. The dhole is an endangered wild dog native to the jungles of Asia. Although the dhole is very similar in appearance to the African Wild dog and the Bush dog, the dhole is the only member of its genus. It is not found everywhere. They can found in east and southern Asia.

Dholes or Asian wild dogs are pack-living canids, although they are unique amongst this family in having a thickset muzzle and one less molar tooth on each side of the lower jaw. Other English names for the species include Asiatic wild dog, Indian wild dog, whistling dog, red dog, and mountain wolf. The etymology of "dhole" is unclear. The possible earliest written use of the word in English occurred in 1808 by soldier Thomas Williamson, who encountered the animal in Ramghur district. He stated that dhole was a common local name for the species. There are three different species of dhole that are very similar in characteristics and only really differ in location and fur color. Although a dominant predator within their environment, the dhole populations have been heavily affected by disease introduced by domesticated animal such as cats and dogs.

The dhole is a carnivorous and fairly dominant predator within its natural environment, working as part of a pack to try and bring down larger prey to feed the whole group. The majority of the dhole's diet however is made of smaller animals including lizards, frog and rodents. The dhole is a highly sociable animal that spends its life as part of a pack. The dhole is well known for the vocal calls that it uses to communicate with its pack. It is said that the repetitive whistles of the dhole are so distinctive that individual's animals can be easily identified by their calls. Dhole is about 83- 113 cm long. Males weigh around 14 - 20 kg and the females weigh around 10- 16 kg. The upper parts of the Dhole are rusty red and the under parts are pale in color. Total length of the tail is around 40 – 50cm. long which is tipped with black. It has a thick muzzle and it has one less moral tooth on each side of its lower jaws. They have large and rounded ears filled with white hairs. They have 40 teethes and males are larger than the females. Dhole has no breeding season. They reach the level of sexual maturity in a year. Gestation period rests for 60- 62 days. Females have the capability of giving birth to 8- 9 pubs at a time.

Kanha Tiger Reserve of Madhya Pradesh is listed as one of the top 10 most famous places for International tourist and has a significant population barasingha and Indian wild dog. The park is also the first tiger reserve in India with officially mascot called Bhoorsingh the Barasingha. A major predator is the Indian Wild Dog or Dhole seen hunting in packs in the Kanha National Park. Kanha dholes or Kanha wild dogs are the prominent animal of the Kanha fauna. Dholes have their settlement in Kanha National Park from a long span of time. Even Rudyard Kipling also write down about dholes in his “Jungle Book.”Kipling was exaggerating when he wrote that the red dogs run their prey to the ends of the earth. Classified as vulnerable by the 2000 IUCN Red List. Dholes are widely killed by the humans. Endangered and hard-to-spot dholes, or Indian wild dogs, will soon test their fortunes in the Eastern Ghats. The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP), running a conservation breeding centre for the species, plans to reintroduce a pack of 16 into the forests.

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