The fearless warriors of the forest find themselves on the endangered list

The dogs we keep in our homes and treat as a member of our family are descendants of wild wolves. What is important is that the wolves we find in India may be descendants of the oldest wolves in the world. Madhya Pradesh has been given the status of ‘Wolf State’ due to its abundance of wolves.

There are three types of wolves – Gray Wolf, Red Wolf and Ethiopian Wolf – with 40 subspecies. In India, wolves are found in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Indian wolves belong to the Gray Wolf family, which can be found in South Asian countries as well as the Indian subcontinent. They are not hairy because they live in warm conditions.

Although wolves are considered wild, they are social animals that live in groups and like to hunt together. A pack of more than 20 members can have both female and male wolves.

The size of a wolf pack depends on the availability of food and habitat. Both male and female raise their offspring. Although they are wild, male and female wolves occasionally raise orphaned cubs. Werewolves are experts in hunting and never think before attacking even a large animal. A lone wolf preys on small animals such as rabbits and squirrels. But when they are in a pack, they pounce on animals like deer, Cheetal, Sambhar and wild boar.

Indian monsters

According to zoologists, Indian wolves are different from those found in West Asia and are related to gray wolves, which are almost extinct in the world. Gray wolves are one of the land mammals living all over the world. They are found in glacial areas, forests, deserts, and grasslands in the northern hemisphere. Monsters have survived since the ice age. These monsters are called refugees because they live in different parts of the world. Most gray wolves are related by genealogy to those found in the northern part of the world where most wolves exist.

Both Tibetan and Indian worms have ancient lineages. Such monsters existed in Eurasia long before their Holarctic counterparts appeared. A recent study found that Indian wolves diverged from their Tibetan counterparts. Now experts say that Indian wolves are descendants of the oldest wolves in the world. These monsters are on the verge of extinction due to human encroachment on their territory, grasslands. Therefore, wolves face many challenges to survive. According to wildlife experts, for wolves to survive, their natural habitats must be protected.

Himalayan monsters

Himalayan wolves are an unusual animal. They can live at an altitude of 4000 meters above sea level. Such monsters are found in Ladakh, Tibet, Nepal and Spiti Valley. Because they live in such a large area, the government could not protect them properly. This is the reason why they are on the verge of extinction. Locals are also responsible for this. Once upon a time, the people of Ladakh used to kill Himalayan wolves to save their cattle and celebrate the festival. They put the monsters in a cage made of stone. Ladakh is called the snowy desert, where keeping cattle is the only way to earn money. In winter, the temperature of this place drops to minus 30 degrees Celsius, and the speed of the icy wind is 25 km per hour. Therefore, it is difficult to lead a normal life in this inaccessible zone.

In such a situation, the local population hunted wolves, leopards and Tibetan foxes. The tactic used by the people of Ladakh to save their cattle was called Shandung, a ditch 40 feet wide and six feet deep, shaped like a bowl. The stones surrounding the trench were large and flat. Some stones were more than two feet long. A ram was kept as bait to trap monsters. The smell of the ram attracts wolves that previously jumped into the ditch and couldn’t get out.

The trapped wolf was brutally killed. The event was celebrated. Local residents beheaded the wolf and marched to their village. In addition to killing the wolves, local residents entered the caves in winter and destroyed their cubs. The villagers respected those who destroyed the cubs. With the change of times, the situation in Ladakh has changed. Now the local people have few means of livelihood and therefore not a single wolf has been killed in Ladakh in the last ten years. Shandong is no longer used. There are still 80 trenches in Ladakh’s Sham Valley. Men and animals can fall into those trenches. Shandong is preserved as a traditional way of keeping animals.

Once there were many cheetahs and wolves in the forests of India, but in less than eight years the cheetahs have disappeared and the wolves are on the verge of extinction. There are currently 3,000 wolves in the country and they will soon disappear if not protected.

Indian wolves are smaller than their European and American counterparts. Indian wolves can survive in hot weather. Wolves, like tigers, are on the brink of extinction. One of the reasons for this is the development of forested areas, moreover, there is no protected forest in the country for raising wolves. According to the latest research, only five percent of the natural ecosystem in the country has been preserved.

Although both belong to the same family, dogs and wolves have a strange love-hate relationship, according to wildlife experts. If a wolf cannot find a mate, it can mate with a dog that breeds high-breed animals, but such breeding reduces the number of wild wolves. These animals are weaker than their ancestors in hunting and breeding.

Deputy Wolf receives State status

The state has become the abode of many wild animals. The state government’s efforts to protect wildlife and environment have paid off. Dubbed as the state of tigers, leopards, crocodiles and crows, Madhya Pradesh has the status of ‘Monster State’. At the last census, the state has the highest number of wolves in the country – 772.

The state government has banned hunting of wild animals and expanded forest cover to increase their numbers. Along with land animals, aquatic animals love the environment of the state. Most of the monsters are found in the Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary near Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. Apart from the hard work of the forest department, the environment of Madhya Pradesh is conducive to wildlife conservation.

The forest department recently tweeted that Madhya Pradesh has been given Wolf State status and is happy about it. The department said that this is the result of the department’s continuous efforts to protect the animal world.

BOX

State Name Number of Monsters

  • Madhya Pradesh: 772
  • Rajasthan: 532
  • Gujarat: 494
  • Maharashtra: 396
  • Chhattisgarh: 320

Dr. Shailendra Shrivastava, who retired as Director General of Madhya Pradesh Police, also served as an officer in the Indian Forest Service. A PhD in Botany (Forest Ecology), Shrivastava has been writing wildlife and environment related articles for various national and international journals for many years. Opinions expressed are personal.

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