Dhole

The dhole or dole, also known as the red dog or Asiatic wild dog is a candid, native to South, Central, and Southeast Asia. Dholes are about the size of a German shepherd but look like a long-legged fox. They are highly elusive and skilled jumpers, found in jungles and tropical rainforest.

Dhole

Dhole

Let’s explore some more information about this species.

 

Scientific Classification of Dhole

Scientific Name: Cuon Alpinus

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Canidae

Genus: Cuon

 

Physical Description of Dhole

When it comes to appearance, dholes look like dogs. They are usually described as the combination of characteristics of a grey wolf and red fox. Their long backbone and slender limbs make them look cat-like. Compared to other canid species, dholes have well developed sagittal crest and masseter muscles.

Physical Description of Dhole

Physical Description of Dhole

The species feature six to seven lower molars.  Adult females weigh 10 – 17kgs and male dholes weigh 15 – 21kg. They stand 17 – 22 inches at the shoulder and measures 3.1 ft in body length. The texture of their body fur is reddish with whitish lower parts.

Habitat of Dhole

Dholes inhabit the mountainous area. They are mostly found in alpine meadows and high mountain steppes, high above the sea level. Dholes prefer forested areas in alpine zones and also in plain areas.

Habitat of dhole

Habitat of dhole

Distribution of Dhole

Earlier, dholes were found throughout eastern and south-eastern Asia, from the Russian far east to Sumatra. But today their population has drastically reduced. Now they are mostly found in parts of India, Indonesia, China, and Myanmar.

Distribution of dhole

Distribution of dhole

Diet of Dhole

When it comes to food habits, dholes prey on hoofed mammals like deer, wild pigs, wild goats, and buffalo. In Southeast Asia, dholes feed on gaur, deer, and banteng. They also love eating berries, lizards, bugs, and rabbits. These species are good hunting.

Diet of dhole

Diet of dhole

Behaviour of Dhole

Check with their behavioural traits, mentioned below;

  • Dholes are amazing athletic.
  • They are fast runners and excellent swimmers.
  • They can even jump very well.
  • Dholes are also found sharing their habitat with leopards and tigers.
  • Dholes are great communicators. They use an eerie whistle for communicating.

 

Reproduction of Dhole

Their mating season begins from mid-October and continues till January. The gestation period lasts for 60 – 63 days. Female dholes produce four to six pups and the pups are suckled for at least 58 days. During this period, the pack feeds the mother. The pups remain at the den site for 70 -80 days. After completing six months, the pups accompany the adults on a hunt.

Reproduction of dhole

Reproduction of dhole

Lifespan of Dhole

They have a life span of nearly 10 years.

 

Predators of Dhole

Tigers and leopards are known for being the natural predators of the dhole. They are the biggest threat to their population.

Diseases of Dhole

Dholes are vulnerable to several diseases. Infectious pathogens like Toxocara Canis are present in their faeces.

Interesting Facts of Dhole

  • Dholes are like painted dogs; there is one dominant monogamous pair.
  • They make a different kind of sounds to communicate.
  • A dhole can jump over 7 feet straight up into the air.
  • They are good swimmers.

Conservation Status of Dhole

Their population is reducing drastically over the years because of loss of habitat and fragmentation. In India, dhole is protected as per Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. This Asiatic wild dog is endangered, as declared by IUCN. Reportedly, a declining population of 2,500 dholes is left in the world.

Pictures of Dhole

Reproduction of dhole

Diet of dhole

Diet of dhole

Habitat of dhole

Habitat of dhole

Physical Description of Dhole

Physical Description of Dhole

Dhole

Dhole

Dhole mammals Video

References

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