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Himalayan Wolf
Captive moulting Himalayan Wolf in Bangladesh
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Canis
Species: C. himalayensis
Binomial name
Canis himalayensis
R. K. Aggarwal et al., 2007 [1]

The terms Himalayan Wolf and Canis himalayensis have been suggested by several experts [1]. for recognition as a critically endangered canid species distinct from Canis lupus.

These researchers suggest that, together with the Indian Wolf this species may represent an ancient isolated line of wolves in India native to a small region Jammu, Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh in northern India and eastern Nepal in the Himalayas. The small population consists of only 350 animals in the wild. The experts suggest that mitochondrial DNA data shows that the Himalayan wolf may be a new subspecies and perhaps even a distinct species. They claim that the Himalayan wolf separated from the Gray wolf approximately 800,000 years ago. If it is a new species, questions arise as to why it wasn't able to perpetuate across the globe in the same matter as its relative the gray wolf. [2]

This proposal has not been recognized by the editors of Mammal Species of the World, who consider the animals to be Tibetan wolves (Canis lupus chanco), a subspecies of the Gray wolf.

Contents

Habitat

Kalpa, Himachal Pradesh

The range of Wolves in question is confined to small pockets in India, Kashmir, into China and Mongolia. They inhabit the coniferous forests of the southern slopes of the Himalayas - including the Makalu Barun National Park in eastern Nepal - which is home to many other unique species. It is believed that when this species evolved, they were surrounded by glaciers and other physical areas that did not promote expansion and perpetuation.

Evolution

Up until recently it was believed that all wolves and dogs were part of the wolf-dog clade meaning that all domesticated dogs are derived from wolves. When the Himalayan lineage was studied, it was found that the wolf shared no genetic markers with gray wolves or dogs. This indicates that the Himalayan wolf played no role in the domestication of dogs. When the divergence of the Himalayan wolf occurred 800,000 years ago, the habitat of modern day Nepal was going through major geologic and climate upheaval. The Himalayan region, also home to the Indian Wolf and the Gray Wolf, is the only geographical location in the entire world were these three species of wolves exist, thereby supporting the theory that the Indian region is the most likely place of modern wolf evolution.

Outlook

The future of the Himalayan wolf is uncertain. Recent studies have estimated the population to be only 350 individuals. These wolves are viewed as a menace to local farmers and ranchers and in turn are killed because they are unprotected. Therefore, it is imperative that these animals become protected because they represent the oldest extant lineage of any species of wolf on the planet. The species is estimated to be 800,000 years old, twice as old as the North American Gray wolf at 400,000 years.

In 2004, larger groups of Himalyan wolves were spotted in the Spiti valley. [3]

Captive breeding

In 2000-2001 four of the Zoological Parks of India kept 21 individuals.[2]18 Himalayan wolves are being bred in captivity. They were captured in the wild and are now being preserved in the Trans-Himalayan region of India, at the Darjeeling Zoo in Shiwalik Hills on the lower range of the Himalaya in West Bengal, and in the Kufri Zoo with Kufri Himalayan National Park located in Himachal Pradesh province.

See also

References

  • Sharma, D. K., Maldonaldo, J. E. Jhala, Y. V., Fleischer, R. C. ( 2003) Ancient wolf lineages in India". Proceedings of the Royal Society, London B (Supplement) Biology Letters.
  • Jhala, Y., Sharma, D.K. (2004) The Ancient Wolves of India. International Wolf, Summer 2004 download PDF
  1. ^ Aggarwal, R. K., Kivisild, T., Ramadevi, J., Singh L. (2007) Mitochondrial DNA coding region sequences support the phylogenetic distinction of two Indian wolf species. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 45 (2): 163–172. Abstract
  2. ^ a b Aggarwal, R. K., Ramadevi J., Singh, L. (2003) Ancient origin and evolution of the Indian wolf: evidence from mitochondrial DNA typing of wolves from Trans-Himalayan region and Pennisular India. Genome Biology 2003, 4:P6. full text preview
  3. ^ "Indian wolves are world's oldest". BBC. 2004-06-17. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3804817.stm. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 

External links

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Simple English

Himalayan wolf
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Canis
Species: C. lupus
Subspecies: C. l. himalayensis
Trinomial name
Canis lupus himalayensis
R. K. Aggarwal, et al., 2007 [1]

The Himalayan Wolf is a kind of wolf that was thought to belong to the Tibetan Wolf family, but it, in fact, may be its own species, Canis himalayensis[1]. It is usually found in a small part of northern Republic of India, in Himachal Pradesh state and also in Indian occupied Kashmir and, also in the eastern part of Nepal in the Himalayas. The habitat of the Himalayan Wolf (also known as the Tibeten Wolf) is only in small parts of Pakistan and Kashmir, the Republic of India, and into China and Mongolia.

Other pages

  • Indian Wolf
  • Eastern Canadian Wolf
  • Grey Wolf

References

  1. R. K. Aggarwal, T. Kivisild, J. Ramadevi, L. Singh:Mitochondrial DNA coding region sequences support the phylogenetic distinction of two Indian wolf species. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, Volume 45 Issue 2 Page 163-172, May 2007 online


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