Wolf caught on camera in first ever recorded sighting for Chamarajnagara district

Elephant Family is delighted to share this hugely significant update from our conservation partners in Karnataka at the Nature Conservation Foundation, India.

Camera traps have recently recorded the presence of an Indian grey wolf (Canis lupus pallipes) for the first time, in the Chamarajnagara district of Karnataka. A lone individual was photo-captured on camera traps in April 2020, in what is probably the first-ever photo record of this species from the area.

This is an important milestone for many reasons as it is now known for sure that all four large mammal species of the dog family (Canis sp.) found in southern India inhabit the protected areas in the Chamarajnagara district. These four species are the Indian grey wolf, Bengal fox, dhole, and jackal.

As Indian grey wolf populations are threatened by habitat degradation and retaliatory killing as a result of human-wildlife conflict, this is a very significant sighting. Recording the presence of an adult is a positive sign that hints at the possibility of a small population that may have escaped notice so far, and conservation efforts can now be focused on implementing measures for the revival of its population in protected areas.

It’s always so uplifting to see conservation efforts create positive change to the biodiversity of a region. In this particular case, the presence of the wolf signifies a healthy and enriched ecosystem which place host to and supports a range of wildlife. By supporting projects that provide local communities with education and ensure that early warning systems are in place, Elephant Family aims to promote landscapes that accommodate peaceful human-wildlife coexistence.

You can learn more about this project here.