10 November 2021 Factors Influencing Habitat-Use of Indian Grey Wolf in the Semiarid Landscape of Western India
Prashant Mahajan, Dharmendra Khandal, Kapil Chandrawal
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Wolves play a crucial role in shaping ecological communities as an apex predator in the dry-open forests of semi-arid landscapes in India. Large scale habitat loss pertaining to human expansion and retaliatory killing by human caused severe decline in the wolf population across its range. The estimated wolf population size is close to 2000–3000 individuals in India; however, these estimates were decades old and the present status of the wolf in the semi-arid landscape is largely unknown. We assessed the distribution of wolves in Kailadevi Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajasthan using occupancy models and identified important factors associated with habitat-use by wolves. Occupancy modelling shifts the focus from individual animal to a site, while accounting for detection probability. To assess the habitat-use we used sign-based surveys that rely on data collected from adjacent sampling sites (replicates). The habitat-use was assessed across 672.82 km2 surveying 48 grid cells, each measuring 14.44 km2. Estimated habitat-use Ѱ (SD) was found to be 0.82 (0.14). Our findings suggested that availability of agriculture land had the significant positive influence on the habitat-use of wolves. Other factors such as availability of water, scrubland, and wild prey (nilgai and chinkara) also had a positive effect on the habitat use of wolves, but it was not significant. Forest cover has a negative influence on the habitat use of wolves. This study is the first rigorous assessment of the Indian grey wolf habitat-use at the level of wildlife reserve with potential conservation value that can be applied to other areas in India.

© The Mammal Society of Japan
Prashant Mahajan, Dharmendra Khandal, and Kapil Chandrawal "Factors Influencing Habitat-Use of Indian Grey Wolf in the Semiarid Landscape of Western India," Mammal Study 47(1), 23-37, (10 November 2021). https://doi.org/10.3106/ms2021-0029
Received: 28 April 2021; Accepted: 31 July 2021; Published: 10 November 2021
Canis lupus pallipes
Kailadevi Wildlife Sanctuary
large carnivores
scrub forest
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