ALBINISM IN WILD DOG IN KARNATAKA SANCTUARY

  • In what could be termed as a first for dholes (wild dogs), a partial albino dhole (Cuon alpinus) has been photo-documented in the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. This is not only the first-ever record of albinism in dholes from India but also from its entire distribution range in 11 countries.
  • The photographic record of the partial albino dhole was documented in the Sangama range of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary by Sanjay Gubbi and his team of Nature Conservation Foundation and Holématthi Nature Foundation. The current camera-trapping exercise was conducted as part of the long-term population monitoring of leopards.
  • “It is also to be noted that the frontline staff of Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary have noticed this individual before it was camera-trapped,” said Mr. Gubbi.
  • With reference to the specific individual, Mr. Gubbi said the partial albino dhole was part of a pack of six other dholes and to date, it had been recorded four times in the camera traps.
  • However, there were also remote chances that this individual could be an inter-breed between a domestic dog and dholes. This could only be ascertained if DNA testing of the individual was carried out, Mr. Gubbi added.
  • Earlier in T.N.
  • Though albino dhole had never been recorded in the wild, a melanistic dhole had been recorded in Gaddesal, Coimbatore Forest Division in Tamil Nadu by naturalist-hunter and coffee planter R.C. Morris, said Mr. Gubbi. The same team had in 2014 documented the first-ever record of honey badger for Karnataka from the same area in Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Dholes or the Indian wild dog are an endangered species found in forests and scrubland in 11 Asian countries. Apart from India, dholes are currently found in Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, and Indonesia among others.

SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB

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