Like most canine species, the Asiatic Wild Dog is known to form social packs of up to 35 individuals, providing them a distinct advantage over larger carnivores like the leopard or tiger, which have superior hunting skills but stalk prey alone.
Creatures of culture
In an animal farm, Editorial
The Gurung people in the Sikles region of the Annapurna Conservation Area compare the bwanso to an untamed wind — it can be anywhere at any time, but is difficult to control. Elders who used to see wild dogs in abundance today report very few sightings, including in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Chitwan National Park, Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, Parsa National Park and Tinjure Milke Jaljale.
It is estimated that only 500 individuals survive, and even this figure could be inflated. Globally the species is estimated to number only up to 2,200, and negative public perception means it is difficult to mount a campaign to conserve the wild dog. The only way to save the animal from extinction therefore, is to reintroduce it into protected areas where it was once found in abundance.
Yadav Ghimirey is a conservation biologist at Friends of Nature.