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  1. Is the Current Number of Wild Dholes Less Than 2,500 in the World…?

    July 21, 2011 by admin

    The dhole has a broad skull and a short, broad muzzle. The fur on the back and flanks is reddish brown, while the neck, chest and undersides are white or lightly colored. The dhole is a member of the Canidae (dog) family and they take good care of the members of their packs. The dhole is living in organized packs of around 10 individuals, and they are a highly social and cooperative animal.

    Groups often contain more males than females, with usually just one breeding female. Occasionally, large groups of over 40 dogs have been seen, possibly arising from the temporary fusion of neighboring packs. The dhole normally lives in forest habitats, but can also eke out an existence in the open steppes of Kashmir and Siberia.

    a dhole

    a dhole family

    The wild dog of Asia was once found throughout much of the continent, but this species is now endangered and has a much restricted range. It is believed that the current number of wild Dholes is less than 2,500.

    The Dhole has been an animal hated by people for a long time because it doesn’t only attack livestock, but it also eats its prey before it is dead. For this reason it is considered by some people to be a cruel animal. This is why many Dholes have been killed with guns, traps or poison.

  2. Gray Wolf Population on the Rise – No Longer Endangered?

    July 20, 2011 by admin

    From 20 endangered animals in 1992, the gray wolves population has grown to over 500 in 2008. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service soon after began a plan to wean this species from the list of endangered animals in the great lakes area. By the time they actually got to do this, the population had risen to over 4,000 in 3 areas alone: Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin. It was a monumental move that garnered a lot of admiration for the incumbent governor at the time.

    Their logic was that the population had reached the desired recovery point, and therefore no longer required protection under the federal government. This shifted the responsibility for sustained population to the local government instead.

    However just last year, in August 2010, a federal court reversed this decision and put the gray wolves back in the list of endangered animals. The move was the culmination of a law suit that was filed by conservation groups led by the Defender of Wildlife.

    These groups acknowledged that the population growth of the gray wolves is commendable. However, states such as Idaho has an existing law that allows gray wolves to be killed ”by any means necessary.” Should the gray wolves step into the this area, it would mean rampant killings of gray wolves and the sharp decline in their numbers.

    According to these conservation groups, only half the work has been done. The other half which involved a protected life as wild animals should be the next focus. In the meantime, it would mean keeping the gray wolves under the protective custody of being in the endangered animals list.

    Once upon a  time when gray wolves roam freely, there were an estimated 2 million of them. Today, this number even with the conservation efforts has dwindled to less than a quarter of the estimated population. In Alaska, the population is about 7,000 to 11,000. Other states have a combined estimated population of 5,000 only. The rest of the gray wolves are in 57 other countries like Canada.

    The numbers dropped fast because of economic growth and development. Humans would kill the wolves because they attacked their farm animals. This grew to a common misconception that gray wolves are extremely dangerous and should be killed on the spot, regardless of the presence of threat to human and animal lives. Combine this with the fact that the wolves were losing their natural habitat in exchange for residential or farm land.

    Reference: Illustrated Encyclopedia of endangered animals.