Monday, February 22, 2016

Breeding centers to help revive wolf population

TNN | Feb 22, 2016
Ahmedabad: The drastic drop in population of Indian wolves from 1,374 in 2000 to around 250 recently has become a cause for concern for wildlife experts in Gujarat. Today , there are only 1,500 of this species left in the country . The forest department in Gujarat is now set to develop special breeding centres for revival of the dwindling Indian wolf population.

Sources in the department said that the state government will make allocations in the budget for the breeding centres.

According to a study , the population of wolves is estimated to be around 190 to 270 in Gujarat and 253 to 350 in Rajasthan. The study has recommended giving legal protection, paying compensation for loss of livestock and pro tecting the breeding habitat.

Principal chief conservator of forest S C Pant said that the presence of wolf keeps neelgai and wild boar population under control and thus saves the crop.

Realizing that the population of neelgai is increasing, the state government too is keen on the wolf revival programme. The population of neelgai in the past five years has increased by over 56% to around 1.86 lakh.

H S Singh, former additional principal chief conservator of forest, said "We are only concerned with saving tiger, lion, elephant or rhinoceros. But efforts should also be made to save this species. During the British rule, there were reports of hunting of over 20,000 wolf in the state, but now the population has gone down below 1,500."

In order to keep the neelgai at bay , farmers resort to electric wire fencing which kills around 10 animals, including protected and herbivorous ones, every month.


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