Dhole

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Dhole
Temporal range: 0.781 mya
Pleistocene – Recent
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Subfamily: Caninae
Genus: Cuon
Binomial name
Cuon alpinus
Dhole range

The dhole (Cuon alpinus) is a canid from Asia. It is related to dogs and foxes. It is native to Central, South and Southeast Asia. There are many common names for it: Asiatic wild dog,[2] Indian wild dog, whistling dog, red dog,[3] and mountain wolf.

It is most closely related to species in the genus Canis (dogs and wolves),[4][5]

During the Pleistocene time period, the dhole lived in Asia, Europe and North America, but 12,000–18,000 years ago it died out everywhere except where it lives now.[6]

The dhole lives in big, loosely organised groups with several breeding females. The groups usually have about 12 dholes, but some have over 40.[3] It is awake in the day and hunts in groups. It usually eats medium sized to big hoofed animals.[7] In tropical forests, the dhole competes with tigers and leopards, targeting somewhat different prey species, but still with substantial dietary overlap.

It is listed as Endangered by the IUCN. The population is getting smaller, and there are probably fewer than 2,500 adults left. The reasons for this are lack of habitat, lack of food, competing with other animals, being hunted, and getting diseases from pet dogs.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Durbin L.S. et al (IUCN SSC Canid Specialist Group – Dhole Working Group) (2008). "Cuon alpinus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/5953.
  2. Fox 1984
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cohen, J. A. (1978). Cuon alpinus. Mammalian Species 100: 1–3.
  4. Lindblad-Toh K. et al (2005). "Genome sequence, comparative analysis and haplotype structure of the domestic dog". Nature 438 (7069): 803–819. PMID 16341006.
  5. Clutton-Brock J. Corbet G.G. and Hills M. (1976). "A review of the family Canidae, with a classification by numerical methods". Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History 29: 179–180. http://biostor.org/reference/65860.
  6. Zhang, H.; Chen, L. (2010). "The complete mitochondrial genome of dhole Cuon alpinus: phylogenetic analysis and dating evolutionary divergence within canidae". Molecular Biology Reports 38 (3): 1651. doi:10.1007/s11033-010-0276-y. PMID 20859694.
  7. Durbin L.S. et al (2004). Dhole Cuon alpinus (Pallas 1811), in Sillero-Zubiri, C., Hoffmann, M. & Macdonald, D.W. (eds.) Canids: foxes, wolves, jackals and dogs: status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. x + pp. 210–219