GREYWOLF/Behaviour, Distribution, Habitat, Size, Weight, IUCN stetus



DESCRIPTION: A large canid, the Grey Wolf superficially looks like a slim Alsatian with a big head, long limbs, large feet, a slightly curved tail and shorter ears. It has a long muzzle. Its pelage varies greatly with tones of red and grey fur intermingled with black, especially on the dorsal crest, forehead and tip of the tail. The undersides are buff or creamish in colour. Despite being one of the largest canids of the Indian Subcontinent, the Indian Grey Wolf is smaller than the subspecies found in Europe and America. The peninsular subspecies has lesser underfur and has whiter lower limbs than other subspecies. The ‘V’ on the back is of a darker colour. In summer pelage, the coat is much redder and shorter as the longer black and grey fur is shed. Winter pelage is thicker. In contrast, the Tibetan Wolf has much more underfur and is heavier set. It has a longer muzzle, a longer  crest of black hair on its back, and in certain cases is completely black in colour.

BEHAVIOUR: Wolf packs communicate by howling and using gestures involving the ears, tail, and facial muscles. These indicate hierarchical disputes and play.

DISTRIBUTION: C.l. chanco is distributed from the eastern parts of the Kashmir Valley to the Changthang in Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir; a small population is known from Spiti in Himachal Pradesh. C.l. pallipes is distributed in a patchy fashion through peninsular India in appropriate habitat. It is mainly found in the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. The species is absent in the Western Ghats as well as the Himalayan foothills and Terai and probably in north–east India.

HABITAT: C.l. chanco inhabits cold deserts of the trans-Himalayas while C.l. pallipes frequents dry open country, scrubland and semi-arid grasslands in the peninsula. It has a wide tolerance level of habitat with different precipitation as is evidenced by its presence in habitats with 300 mm precipitation in the Rann and in parts of Rajasthan, to those with 1,500 mm precipitation in Odisha.

 Size: 100–130 cm

IUCN  Status: Least Concern


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