Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Dhole (Asiatic Wild Dog) - Cuon alpinus
Dhole (Asiatic Wild Dog) - Cuon alpinus

[Image: photo.jpg]

Physical Description 

Dental formula Incisors 3/3 : Canines 1/1 : Premolars 4/4 : Molars 2/2 

[Image: dole_skull-sm.jpg]

Body length: c.100 cm 

Tail length: c.40 cm 

Weight: females 12-16; males 14-18 kg

Coat colour: usually a red coat (also brown, yellowish or grey) often with white front & belly & black tail 

[Image: Dhole_bw.GIF]

The dhole or Asiatic Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus) is about the size of a border collie (12-18 kg), but looks quite different. The coat is usually a rusty red colour, but varies regionally from sandy yellow to dark grey. See our dhole map page for details of regional colour variation (frame-compliant browsers only). Usually it has a black bushy tail and white patches on its chest, paws and belly. Its ears are rounded, and its hooded amber eyes portray an intelligent nature. 

Within the canid family the dhole is something of an enigma. It doesn't fit neatly into any of the sub-families (i.e. the foxes or wolf-like dogs) and is classified in a genus of its own - Cuon. Among its unusual features is a strange whistle call which it uses to re-assemble the pack when animals become separated in dense forest. The dhole also has more teets than most other dogs and has a shorter jaw with one less molar on each side of its lower jaw. 

Social Behaviour 
The dhole is a highly social and cooperative animal, living in organised packs of around 10 individuals. Groups often contain more males than females, with usually just one breeding female. Occasionally, large groups of over 40 dogs have been seen, possibly arising from the temporary fusion of neighbouring packs. 

[Image: dhole1.jpg]

Together with the grey wolf, African hunting dog and Amazonian bush dog, the dhole is one of the few dogs that regularly hunts in packs. This requires intelligence, co-ordination, and sometimes courage! In India, one of the dhole's favourite prey is the medium-sized Axis deer. On occasions, however, it will tackle even larger prey like the banteng (a large bovid), and highly aggressive prey like the wild boar. With such dangerous quarry, the dogs can literally risk their lives to secure the food they need to survive. Communal hunting is particularly important during the breeding season when pack members return to the den to regurgitate food for the mother and pups. Sometimes, however, dholes prefer to hunt individually or in pairs, focusing on smaller prey such as hares. 

Habitat and Geographical Range

Habitat: usually forest (dry deciduous,moist deciduous, tropical rain forest), also meadows & steppe

Geographical range: Latitude: 10 deg. South to 55 deg. North; Longitude: 70 deg. East to 170 deg. East

The dhole normally lives in forest habitats, but can also eke out an existence in the open steppes of Kashmir and Siberia. As the Latin name, Cuon alpinus suggests, the dhole is often found in hilly or mountainous regions. The dhole's historical range reflects this great adaptability, extending from India to Russia, and down through China to Malaysia and Indonesia (Java being the southern limit). In recent decades, however, there has been massive habitat loss within this region. Today, very little is known about the dhole's distribution, but restricted surveys indicate serious decline and fragmentation of the former range. The best remaining populations are probably to be found in central and southern India, but even their stability is in question. The urgent need for more information on the dhole's present distribution has been highlighted in the latest IUCN Action Plan for Canids. In response to this plan, DCP have designed a sighting form and questionnaire survey and are compiling information on the dhole's status and distribution. Armed with such knowledge we will be in a much better position to mobilise direct conservation action. 

Almost exclusively meat: usually deer, but also wild boar, hares, depending on availability.
The dhole eats wild berries, insects, and lizards. Packs of dholes feast on mammals ranging from rodents to deer. Some of the dhole's favorites include wild pigs, hares, wild goats, sheep, and occasionally a monkey. Unlike many other "dogs," the dhole seldom kills by biting the throat. Larger mammals are attacked from the rear, while smaller ones are caught by any part of the bodies. The smaller mammals are killed by a swift blow to the head; the larger mammals are immediately disembowled. Dholes compete for the food, not by fighting, but by how fast they can eat. An adult dhole can eat up to 4kg (8.8lbs) of meat in one hour. Two to three dholes can kill a 50kg (110 lb) deer in less than two minutes, and they begin to feed on it before it is dead. The larger prey rarely die from the attack itself, but from blood loss and shock as their intestines, heart, liver, and eyes are feasted upon.

[Image: photo.jpg]

Gestation period: ca. 63 days 

litter size: 1-12 pups 

Breeding season: November - April (most births in December in India) 

Longevity: At least 15 years in captivity 

Sexual maturity: c. 1 year old 

Activity pattern: diurnal/crepuscular occasionally nocturnal 

[Image: photo.jpg]

Interesting Facts : Did you know?... 
  • The dhole has some extraordinary vocal calls - it can whistle, scream, mew, and even cluck like a chicken. 

  • It's been a distinct species for several million years. 

  • It can urinate while doing a handstand on its front two legs 

  • Sometimes it forms temporary packs of over 40 animals. 

  • It breeds communally with most pack members helping to feed or guard the pups. 

  • When hunting as a pack it can subdue prey over 10 times its own body weight, and can even fend off a tiger! 

  • It exploits a variety of habitats from tropical rain forest and dry-deciduous jungle, to cold alpine forest and open plains. 

  • It has amazing jumping powers and can reach a vertical height of at least 2.3 metres (7.5 ft). 

  • Its dental formula is unique among the dog family. 

  • It is a capable swimmer and often drives its prey into water. 

Sources :
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
Red Dog Wrote:
taipan Wrote:Reddhole, what do you know/think about Tiger v Dholes?

While I certainly think some of the accounts above were embellished and exaggerated, I suspect there is some truth to them. During that time, both dholes and tigers lived at densities far greater than today. Thus, encounters were far more frequent.

Also, I believe that dhole packs would have been larger back then due to better supplies of game. 

I once emailed a dhole researcher about the Connell and Anderson accounts and he believed they were true (likely not every detail) and thought they could have involved the packs defending a den from tigers.

However, I could see why some may have some skepticism about these accounts.

Anyway, the only modern research I have on this topic is the following reference:

Venkataraman, A. (1995). Do dholes (Cuon alpinus) live in packs in response to competition with or predation by large cats. Current Science.11: 934-936. 

In this paper, they reference the Connell account and several similar older accounts from the Journal of Bombay Natural History. Evidently, at least IMHO, it seems they view these as factual events. Here is a summary:

[Image: DholesandBigCatsOldAccounts001.jpg]

The paper also tries to explain group-living in dholes as a possible adaption for living with leopards and tigers. They found that dholes (which may live in smaller packs now due to habitat degredation) were more aggressive towards leopards than tigers. They theorize that this is because tigers are more dangerous, but also because leopards prey more on dholes (thus there is more reward for attacking leopards).

Here is the paper's summary:

[Image: DholesandBigCatsSummary001.jpg]

Here are their observations of dhole-big cat encounters:

[Image: DholesandBigCatsRecentAccounts001.jpg]

Here is a comparison of the three predators' diets:

[Image: DholesandBigCatsDiets001.jpg]

Here are some observations from Michael W. Fox's book "The Whistling Hunters", which was about his field study of dholes in India during the 1970s:

[Image: DholePredatorsfromFox001.jpg]

[Image: DholePredatorsfromFox002.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:This study documents dhole predation on adult female banteng and their calves. Adult female banteng can weigh 1,400 lbs.

[Image: DholePredationonBanteng001.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:The following is from Lon Grassman's study of dholes in Thailand. The reference is as follows:

Grassman, L. I., Jr., M. E. Tewes, N. J. Silvy, and K. Kreetiyutanont. 2005. Spatial ecology and diet of the dhole Cuon alpinus (Canidae, Carnivora) in north central Thailand. Mammalia. 69: 11-20.

[Image: ThailandPredationSummary001.jpg]

Note: 3 dholes killed a sambar cow and attacked her eyes:

[Image: SambarPredationDescription001.jpg]

Photo of Sambar Cow with Injured Eye Being Attacked:

[Image: SambarPredationPhoto001.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:Video of Two Dholes Hunting a Chital Stag

Photos of Dholes Attacking Sambar in India

[Image: Staghunt1.jpg]

[Image: Staghunt2.jpg]

[Image: Staghunt3.jpg]

[Image: Staghunt4.jpg]

[Image: Staghunt5.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:Some interesting information selected from the following source:

Cuon vs. Canis

The genus Cuon differs from most members of the genus Canis in the greater number of mammae (six or seven pairs vs. the typical five), the more rounded external ears, and the following cranial and dental characters (taken from Pocock, 1936: 34) of which only the first has a direct bearing on the outward appearance of the animal:

the relatively broader premolar region of the muzzle, i.e., the muzzle begins to widen noticeably immediately beyond the canine teeth [cf. figure 2 in Cohen (1979)],

the longer anterior palatine foramina,

the expansion of the nasals in their proximal half,

the presence of one instead of two cusps in the heel of the lower carnassial (m1),

the reduction in size of m2 and m2,

the suppression of m3. 

Note: Items d-f are discussed in slightly more detail below under "Teeth."

 Cuon alpinus

Note: The details in the following descriptions are based on the Indian form of the Asiatic Wild Dog because it is the (only) one that has been studied with any degree of thoroughness. In the literature, quantitative measurements vary considerably; the numbers given here represent the extreme values rather than averages of those measurements. All data regarding relative/proportional measurements have been taken from the article by Juliet Clutton-Brock et al. -- For pictures/photos Google search dhole and, on the Results page, click on Images.

Height at shoulders: 42 to 55 cm (The literature does not differentiate between males and females; presumably, the latter occupy the lower end of the range given.)

Weight: 15 to 20 kg (males), 10 to 13 kg (females)

Length of skull: 17.4 to 18.8 cm (measured ventrally from occipital condyle to point of "chin")

Zygomatic width: 10.3 to 11.8 cm (= widest part of head)

Length of rostrum: 7.4 to 8.0 cm (measured from stop (juncture of forehead and rostrum) to tip of nose)

Length of head and body: 88 to 113 cm

Length of tail: 28 to 50 cm

Number of chromosomes: 78 (i.e., same as Canis and Lycaon)

Life span: 12+ years in captivity (best guess)

General appearance: Cuon alpinus is a medium-sized, dog-like canid (larger than the jackal but smaller than the wolf, substantially longer than high, with a somewhat spitz-like head and a long bushy tail. Coat color varies with regions and ranges from brownish gray to mahogany red, often with extensive areas of lighter to white fur. 

Expression: alert and intelligent and, with its light eyes, somewhat fierce.

Head: Triangular; skull broad between ears with well developed interparietal crest; foreface very short in relation to skull width; bones of forehead and upper jaws are "swollen," producing a concave ("dish-faced") profile. Noticeable but not pronounced stop. Nose leather black.

Underlying proportional measurements:

Greatest width of palate as a percentage of length of palate: 70%, i.e., a short wide mouth, only in the African Hunting Dog (Lycaon pictus) is this percentage higher.

Width of rostrum as a percentage of length of palate: 40%, i.e., a short and broad nose, a feature shared with Lycaon and the Bush Dog (Speothos venaticus). 

Width of rostrum as a percentage of width of palate: 57%. 

Anterior palatine length of premaxillae (i.e., distance from behind canines to in front of incisors) as a percentage of width of rostrum: 72%, substantially less than in most canids, only in Lycaon is this percentage smaller.

Zygomatic width as a percentage of length of skull: 61% (i.e., a broad skull. Second only to Lycaon).

Maximum length of bullae as percentage of length of head: 15% (unremarkable. Lower end of range 12-19, some 26)

Note: According to Thenius (1954: 379 with fn.), the fossil records of Cuon suggest that the Cuon muzzle used to be longer and that its present shape is the result of evolutionary shortening. What, if any, survival value is attached to this adaptation is a question better left to evolutionary theorists.

Eyes: Hooded (i.e., with heavy upper eyelid); round pupil, iris amber or light brown.

Ears: Set on high; erect, rounded (similar to Lycaon) with white hair on the periphery; heavily furred on inside and outside.

Teeth: I 3/3, C 1/1, PM 4/4, M 2/2: i.e., there are three incisors, one canine, four premolars and two molars in each quadrant (=one-half of both the upper and lower jaws). This is basically the "normal" dentition of the canids with the exception that the "usual" lower third molar (m3) is missing on both sides so that the total number of teeth is reduced from the usual 42 to 40. The crushing and grinding capability of the dhole’s dentition is diminished further by the relative small size of the post-carnassial molars and, more importantly, by a modification of the lower carnassial (= Dens sectorius, first molar, m1): "The inner cusp of the talonid is missing, so that this part of the tooth does not form a basin but a subsidiary blade" (Ewer, 1967: 41). These features, according to Ewer, "suggest a highly predacious habit with diminished importance of vegetable foods".-- Due to the shortness of the muzzle, the overall position of the teeth is rather crowded.

Neck: Short in relation to combined length of thorax and lumbar region (35%); of the canids, only the Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus) has a shorter neck (34%).

Forequarters: In comparison to other canids, forelegs fairly short in relation to body length (60% of length of cervical to lumbar vertebrae). Shoulders well laid back with a short straight upper arm.

Body: Level topline, chest broad and brisket above elbows. No marked tuckup. Ribs well sprung.

Hindquarters: Hind legs fairly short in relation to length of body spine (70%, well towards the lower end among the canids). Upper thigh (femur) longer than lower thigh (tibia), a feature shared only with the Dingo and Bush Dog (Speothos venaticus). Heavily muscled with enormous drive/thrust.

Note: The Dhole’s jumping and leaping abilities, as reported by Sosnovskii (1967: 121) for his adult Moscow Zoo specimens, are truly astounding. Long jump from standing start: 3 to 3.5 m (10 to 12 ft), with running start: 5 to 6 m (17 to 20 ft.), high jump: 3 to 3.5 m (10 to 12 ft).

Red Wrote:Ecology of the dhole (Cuon alpinus Pallas) in Central India
Principal Investigators: Dr. A.J.T. Johnsingh and Dr. K. Sankar
Researcher: Shri B. Bhaskar Acharya
Date of initiation: January 2001
Date of completion: January 2005 extended to July 2005
Budget allotted: Rs. 15,47,550.00

Preliminary results indicate that home ranges of the dhole pair during the denning (December-February) and post-denning (March-July) season encompassed 25.6 km² & 33.2 km² (95% MCP) respectively. The corresponding home range of the pack of 14 dholes for the post-denning period was 68.5 km² (95% MCP). On the whole, it was observed that dhole packs range over much less area during denning period, with a slight increase of post-denning, and increasing during monsoon (pre-denning) period (based on data from preceding years). The most encountered dhole prey species, in both dhole home ranges, was chital (Axis axis) with densities of 67.9 per km² and 96.7 per km² within the two dhole home ranges, respectively. The majority (85%) of dhole
kills recorded (n=53) were that of chital. However, 58 % of dhole scats (n=393) contained sambar (Cervus unicolor) remains. With regard to chital kills (n=45), nearly half the kills were that of juveniles. Moreover, male chital were killed more often than females.
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
Red Dog Wrote:Source:

"Diversity and management of wild mammals in tea gardens in the rainforest regions of the Western Ghats, India: A case study from a tea estate in the Anaimalai Hills", H. N. Kumara, M. Ananda Kumar, A. K. Sharma, H. S. Sushma, Mridula Singh and Mewa Singh* Biopsychology Laboratory, Department of Psychology, Manasagangotri, University of Mysore, Mysore 570 006, India

Pack Size

"Data on dholes was obtained from a single pack in the region.  The pack had 15 animals, which included 4 pups born in 1996."

Note: A substantial number of the 11 animals who were not pups would have likely been subadults (i.e. yearlings). Also, no information is given on the number of pack members involved in the kills discussed below (i.e. could have been only a couple or many more involved).

Predation on Adult Sambar & Local People Stealing Kills

"Sambar was quite common during 1995. Though the
number of sambar kills made by dholes was high during
1996, direct sightings of sambar were poor inside the estate
during that year. During the denning period (1995
and 1996), 29 (85.3%) sambar kills were recorded. All of
the 21 kills made by dholes during 1996 were either close
to the stream vegetation or in the streams where sambar
usually occurred due to availability of cover. During this
period, we twice observed three kills made within a span
of two days. In one instance, two adult female sambar were killed on the same day, and one adult male with
fully grown antlers was killed the next day. Such a high
frequency of killings was probably due to meat-stealing.
In most cases, the kills were made during morning hours.
Out of a total of 34 kills recorded during 1995–1999, local
people stole meat 28 times (82.35%).

We observed considerable change in the mode of meatstealing
by people over the years. Initially, people used to
chase dholes away from the kill, if the dholes were fewer
in number. Later, they started following dhole tracts and
chased them soon after the dholes had made a kill. Cases
were also observed when people chased away dholes even
before the latter had completed a kill and had only incapacitated
a sambar. During long periods of observations near the den in 1996, we observed four attempts by people to steal dhole pups. The attempts involved throwing stones at the den to chase away the adults. However, no attempt to steal pups was successful. After this incident, dholes left the study area and their subsequent sightings became infrequent inside the estate.

Heavy Dhole Predation on Adult Sambar is Different from Studies in Other Areas With Different Prey Types

In Nagarhole and Bandipur dholes showed a high preference for particular age and sex of the prey species, favouring mostly yearlings, fawns and subadult of sambar and adult males of chital. Fox and Johnsingh are of the opinion that sambar is a large,powerful and difficult animal for dholes to bring down. In contrast to this opinion, during our study period in 1996, we observed that 18 of 21 kills of sambar made by dholes were adults and among them, four were fully grown adult males. One possible reason for this could be that sambar
fawns strayed into the estate with a lesser frequency than
the adults.

Red Dog Wrote:Below is a great summary of this species by Arun Venkataraman, a renowned researcher who has studied dholes. I have extracted out some interesting parts, but the whole piece is worth a read.

"It was a hot sultry morning, punctuated by the incessant calls of
cicadas. I was deeply engrossed in following our study pack of dholes travelling in single file up a forest road in Kargudi, a prime dhole habitat in the Mudumalai sanctuary, Tamil Nadu, South India. The sanctuary forms a part of the Nilgiri biosphere reserve, straddling an area of approximately 5000 sq km in the three southern states of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The pack consisting of 10 dholes had not killed any prey that morning. It was unusual that they were still moving as they usually give up hunting by this time, preferring to spend the hottest portion of the day resting and eagerly anticipating the evening hunt. A small, sudden burst of activity ensued and three dholes lagging behind the rest of the pack dived into bushes on the roadside. 

Two of them reappeared almost immediately. The third one eventually emerged holding a quivering mouse deer (Tragulus memmina), Asia’s smallest deer, in it’s mouth. Casting what I imagined to be furtive glances towards the pack, it disappeared into the bushes and with loud crunching sounds, ate the entire animal in seclusion. After this solitary meal it proceeded o join the pack. The pack individuals on sensing its arrival bounded towards the errant animal, probably aroused by the smell of flesh and lood emanating from the recent meal. Mild aggression was displayed owards this animal and the pack proceeded along its way as if nothing had happened."

Social Behaviour

"The dhole is a rufous coloured animal with a beautiful plume-like
black tail which is effectively used for signalling the status of an
animal in the dominance hierarchy. Dominance hierarchies are
rigid with an alpha male and female at the top of the hierarchy.
Dominant animals participate in much of the breeding and possibly
also social decision-making. Rather stockily built, males and fe-
males weigh around 15 and 13 kgs respectively. It is a compact, lethal hunter well adapted for coursing at high speeds in pursuit of prey.

It differs from the genus Canis (wolves, jackals, domestic dogs and coyotes) by having two molars instead of three, and many more teats. Dholes often live in aggregations of individuals called packs. Such packs are highly structured and individuals within them coordinate activities such as hunting and breeding. Pack members coordinate while pulling down and killing large prey such as adult sambar (Cervus unicolor) and chital (Axis axis). Individuals may grab the ear, tail and other parts of the body, eventually weighing down the animal before actually killing it. Although the meat is generally shared, there is some squabbling among individuals with dominant individuals cornering the choicest bits of meat. Young pups within the packs are allowed to have precedence over others while feeding. Dhole packs, however, usually kill smaller animals such as sambar and chital fawns. Most pack members help in surrounding small prey and block their escape while the older males move in for the kill. Older females and younger animals usually tend to lag behind and join in for the feeding. Dholes usually kill once a day, but on many a day hunting proves unsuccessful or the animal killed is too small to ensure a full belly to all pack members."

Hunting Strategies

"The main prey of dhole packs in the Mudumalai sanctuary are chital, which live in herds. Some forested areas contain many herds while others don’t contain any. This kind of distribution is called a patchyone. At least one dhole pack hunts within a single patch for a few days and when their hunting stops yielding adequate gains, they switch to a fresh patch and repeat the process. This strategic hunting may ensure steady long-term gains in terms of chital killed. In addition to strategic use of their home ranges, dholes may have extremely elaborate methods for hunting prey. I have often seen some dhole pack members jumping in and out of bushes surrounding open areas. The intention is to drive smaller prey hiding within bushes into the waiting jaws of other pack members waiting in the open area. A frequent manoeuvre involves cutting corners while chasing prey. A single dhole chasing a prey animal is aided by others who run
at the animal from other angles, reducing the distance between the lead dhole and the prey. This behaviour is often mistaken to be more than one dhole running relays. Sometimes, on being confronted with a dhole in front of it, the prey animal turns back into the rest of the pack. Such chases, though gruesome to watch, are exciting and ripe with scientific information."

Red Dog Wrote:The last of deadly dogs? 6-11-05
(Monday, 14 November 2005) - Contributed by Cass

The last of deadly dogs? Sunday, November 6, 2005

Far from wagging their tails, dholes or wild dogs of Bandipur, hunt to kill.. Navnith Krishnan on these fearsome dogs which play an important role in the forest ecosystem. The whistling sounds and yelps were distinctive, followed by sharp cries of a chital (spotted) deer and then there was sudden silence. "Dogs," I whispered to myself. The next bend, we saw the cause for the commotion. A chital stag lay sprawled, disembowelled, feeble movements of its front paws indicating that life was not yet snuffed. A dozen red dogs were feasting on the still-alive deer. We were very close to the dogs but they took no notice. We were coursing through the mud paths of Bandipur Sanctuary in Karnataka. I recollected my experience in the nearby Mudumalai sanctuary some years back. A full-grown leopard was found dead, its head caught between two branches of a tree and hanged to death. Three fourth of its tail was gone. There were bite marks all over its body, mostly on the rear. When it was brought down by forest officials, it was revealed to be the handiwork of wild dogs. In its panic to get away, the leopard slid and caught its head between the branches. No other predator can instil in its prey the kind of fear that wild dogs do. A large pack can even tree a reluctant tiger! Their methods are cruel by human standards. Once the prey is chased, encircled and caught, they disembowel it and start eating even before it dies. I have seen a pack of dogs chasing a full-grown sambar stag in the picturesque Periyar sanctuary. It jumped into the lake to escape. Two of the dogs followed it into the lake and bit both the eyes off before the deer could go far. The other dogs joined the two in dragging it out and eating it. It took less than one hour for the pack to polish off the entire kill.

Red Dog Wrote:Ullas Karanth's, a famous Indian wildlife biologist,  description of dhole-leopard interactions:

As a wildlife biologist, Karanth interprets the happenings in the jungle in the larger backdrop of the survival of species. While he has his own distinct style, this aspect of his writing reminds me of the wildlife biologist George B. Schaller. It endows his writing with an extra dimension. When a leopard comes across three dholes (wild dog), it flees at first sight, presuming that it could be a large pack. Karanth observes that this action of the cat had greater survival value, in evolutionary terms. He adds that this capability to survive is the reason for its wide provenance, from Africa to East Asia.

Red Dog Wrote:Below is an interesting study on dhole, tiger, and leopard predation on wild boar and livestock from Bhutan. Apparently, dholes have recolonized the area and have caused a significant decrease in wild boar numbers. Unfortunately, they (like leopards and tigers) also prey on livestock as well.

It would be interesting to see the age/sex of the prey taken by the predators, but this is not available from this study of scats.

More details are in the complete study in the link here:

Predator-Prey Dynamics: The Role of Predators in the Control of
Problem Species

Tashi Wangchuk+


A study was conducted to look at the relationship between
presence and numbers of wild dog (Cuon alpinus) and
presence and abundance of wild boar (Sus scrofa). This was
corroborated with scat analysis to get percentage of the prey
consumed by wild dogs and other predators. A preliminary
nationwide presence-absence survey of C. alpinus population
showed that with the exception of Trashigang, Samdrup
Jongkhar and Pemagatshel, all the other dzongkhags reported
presence of wild dogs. Wild dog density was then compared
with relative wild boar density using a simple linear
regression analysis.

A negative relationship between increasing wild dog numbers
and decreasing wild boar density was detected. The R2 value
for the regression was 0.60 — meaning that about 60% of the
relative amount of variance in wild boar density is explained
by the number of wild dogs present in an area. The
unexplained 40% could be due to other factors such as
habitat conditions, food availability, control measures, other
large predators, diseases, and so on.

An analysis of variance (ANOVA) carried out on the
relationship gave a significant value (F= 12.30 >> Fs = 0.007),
meaning that the average number of boars in the different
study areas are significantly different from each other, or that
different pack sizes of wild dogs have significantly different
effects. The slope of the regression line was negative 0.1. Thus
for every unit increase in wild dogs presence there is a 0.1
unit decrease in relative wild boar density.

About 37% of wild dog diet consists of domestic animals such
as cattle and horses. The other 63% is wildlife. Of this 63%,
65 numbers of scat found contained wild boar remains. This
indicates that from the wild herbivores preyed, about 58% of
wild prey consumed are wild boar. Overall, including
domestic animals, wild boars make about 36% of the wild
dog’s diet.

In terms of resource partitioning based on sign densities, the
three predators (tiger, leopard, and wild dog) avoid conflict
with wild boars by using different habitats and through
engaging in vastly different hunting behaviour. For instance,
leopards have more fixed and stable home ranges, closer to
human habitation while tigers have larger home ranges but
well away from any human settlement. Wild dogs are more
transient and travel frequently over a large distance; their
home ranges overlap with that of tigers and leopards. Since
their presence is fleeting, they rarely come in conflict with the
other predators.

Scat Content

Of 178 wild dog scats that were found, 112 contained
remains of wild herbivores, one Kaleej pheasant and 65
domestic animals. This shows that about 37% of wild dog diet
consists of domestic animals such as cattle and horses. The
other wildlife constitutes 63%. Of this 63%, 65 numbers of
scat found contained wild boar remains. This indicates that
from the wild herbivores preyed, about 58% of wild prey
consumed is wild boar. Overall, wild boars, including
domestic animals, make up about 36% of the wild dog diet.
Since less than 10 tiger scat was encountered, tiger scat
analysis is excluded from the present study. Fifty eight
leopard scats were found along transects. Of this, 76%
consisted of wild game, mostly of muntjac. No wild boar
remains were found in the leopard scat. The remaining 24%
consisted of domestic animals.

Red Dog Wrote:Evaluation of livestock depredation by dholes (Cuon alpinus) in the Kingdom of Bhutan 
Authors: Dr. A.J.T.Johnsingh, WII and Ms. Deki Yonten and Dr. Sangay Wangchuck, 
Nature Conservation Division, Royal Government of Bhutan


Dholes (Cuon alpinus) represented by nine to eleven sub-species occur from West Asia to China and from Indo-China to Java. Bhutan with 70% forest cover and wild ungulates such as takin (Budorcas taxicolor), sambar (Cervus unicolor), barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak) and wild pig (Sus scrofa) can provide a suitable habitat for a viable population of dholes. It is likely that two sub-species of dholes, C. a. laniger and C. a. primaevus, may occur in the northern and central to southern regions of Bhutan respectively. The propensity of dholes to attack livestock resulted in the people of Bhutan nearly eradicating dholes in the 1970s by poisoning. Absence of dholes led to the resurgence of wild pigs which cause enormous damage to agricultural crops. Dholes reappeared in many parts of Bhutan and in the late 1990s and started causing considerable damage to livestock as the villagers in many parts of Bhutan have the habit of leaving livestock in the forest for feeding sometimes even for weeks at a time.

A three-week consultancy project was carried out in April-May 2004 in Toeb Geog, Thimphu Dzongkhag in which 15 personnel from the Royal Government of Bhutan were trained in methods to survey for dholes and based on 22 questions, 10 villages, (6 on the left bank of Toeb Rong Chhu and 4 on the right bank), were surveyed. Average family size on the right bank, which has the Thimphu-Wangdue Highway passing through it and possibly has more employment opportunities, was 8.42 and on the left bank it was 5.78. Average number livestock held by a family on the right bank was 6.67 and left bank 6.44. Twenty-two respondents, who had lost their livestock to dholes, said that all attacks and kills were made while the cattle were left in the jungle. Interestingly, Emou village, which is on the left bank, which in 2004 had 16 cattle and 4 pigs, had not suffered a single livestock loss so far as the animals were taken to jungle for feeding during the day and stall fed at night. All the 30 respondents said that livestock penned near homes were never attacked by dholes. Combined data for both the right and left bank showed that the livestock availability in 2004 was 128 cows, 36 oxen and 16 calves and the number of animals killed during 1999-2003 was 24 cows,30 oxen and 11 calves. It is clear that more oxen and fewer cows, which are obviously well-protected, are killed in proportion to their availability.

The conclusion of this study was that the dhole is a valuable predator to control the population of wild pigs which can cause enormous economic loss to villagers. With the assistance of programmes like Integrated Conservation Development Emou model should be followed for other villages.
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
Red Dog Wrote:The deer's cry subsides, only to return again in more frequent, and notably more stressed intervals. I quickly decide to rush over to the source of the commotion when my friend passes by... 
"C'mon, get in the car! A pack of dholes have started feeding on a deer!" he screams.
     I hop into his car at once, and we rush to the scene, parking about 300 meters from where the dholes are about to close in on a fully-grown female deer. Half running, half walking, we make it over to the opposite side of the river, in time to observe that the chase has now been led into the water. Suddenly, two dholes begin attacking the deer's eyes, a tactic I have come to surmise blinds the prey, preventing it from being able to see clearly enough to run away. Almost simultaneously, another dhole starts biting into the deer's hind legs, effectively wounding the deer's only means to run away quickly, in an attempt also to cause the deer's legs to buckle beneath it. Finally, we notice a last dhole out of the water in a posture that tells us he is on the lookout for any interruptions to the feeding.  
        The terrified deer, its body bloodied and torn, refuses to give up easily, and in its wild and desperate flailing, manages to send one of the dholes flying above the water. But the dholes are relentless, and despite the difficulty in attacking a prey in water that is also much taller than they are, their tried and true systematic mode of attack breaks the deer's defenses and ultimately spells death for the deer... and lunch for the hardworking dholes.
     No matter how brutal and vicious the feeding may appear, the pack of dholes do not kill for sport and they do not collect the remains of their prey as trophies, or as indicative of their sordid characters. It is rather, their daily work and their method of survival... one life sacrificed for countless others.   
        The deer finally falls and the tired dholes begin to rip apart at their meal. The head of the pack starts with the deer's eyes, the others then continue onto the deer's chest, followed by the intestinal area and abdominal meat. Should the dead prey have fallen too far from the dhole's nest, pieces are torn off and brought back to their hungry young... 

[Image: dhole_08.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:Dhole Predation on Eld's deer (thamin subspecies):

"During the 4-year study period, four radio-collared deer were killed by dhole (Cuon alpinus), 1 was killed by a hunter, 1 died of unknown causes, two disappeared, and two dispersed out of the study area (a female and yearling male captured together). Most deaths (4 of 6), both dispersals, and both disappearances, occurred during the cool-dry season. Additionally, there were reports of leopards (Panthera pardus) by local villagers, but most predation is believed to be from dhole, jackals (Canis aureus), or feral dogs. There were nine recorded instances of dhole predation on thamin (combined total from radio-collaring and sighting data), and six of these occurred during the cool-dry season. Poaching is still a major concern, and the greatest threat to Eld’s deer is the conflict between the needs of humans and animals for limited resources, but other factors such as the monsoon flooding, fires and predation, are also major factors influencing mortality in thamin.
The primary predators of Eld's deer were tigers (Panthera tigris), leopards (Panthera pardus), and dhole. All of these predators overlapped the distribution of the Eld's deer across most, if not all of the historic range. Today, tigers and leopards have been eliminated from much of the remaining range of the Eld's deer, and thinly distributed dholes, which forage over much larger areas, are the primary wild predator of the species in Myanmar. In addition, domestic dogs pose a threat to Eld's deer when used by hunters, as coursing with dogs is the primary means of illegal hunting in Myanmar. Fawns of Eld's deer are vulnerable to predation by domestic dogs, which accompany villagers as they pass through Eld's deer habitat in Myanmar.'s_Deer_Workshop_Part_2_FINAL.pdf

I also looked at the formal study published by these researchers (not on the web) and all 19 of the radio-collared deer were adults (11 males, 8 females). Also, these predations occurred during the cool-dry season when males have their antlers Thus, the dhole predations were on adults and most of the males killed would have had antlers.

According to this source ,the thamin subspecies of Eld's deer can reach up to 150 KG and has impressive antlers:

[Image: thamin.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:Below is an account in a book from Ullas Karanth, a famous Indian wildlife biologist. Basically, 3 dholes (led by one dog) attacked a large 60 KG male leopard. Personally, I do not agree with Karanth's interpretation that the 3 dholes couldn't possibly kill the leopard and that the leopard fled because it thought more dholes could be present. However, I do accept that is one possible logical interpretation of the account. Either way, I find it impressive as adult male and female dholes in India only average 15-20 KG and 10-13 KG, respectively. 

[Image: 3DholesAttackLeopard001.jpg]

[Image: 3DholesAttackLeopard002.jpg]

[Image: 3DholesAttackLeopard003.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:Below is another account from Ullas Karanth's book about a dhole taking down an adult chital doe.

[Image: SingleDholeKillsChitalDoe001.jpg]

[Image: SingleDholeKillsChitalDoe002.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:Another account from Ullas Karanth's book. 4 dholes chased a chital stag into water, 2 attacked it in the water, 3 dragged it to shore where it was killed.

[Image: DholePackKillsChitalStag001.jpg]

[Image: DholePackKillsChitalStag002.jpg]

[Image: DholePackKillsChitalStag003.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:Dhole attacking Young Male Sambar:

[Image: DholeAttacksYoungSambarBull.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:
reddhole Wrote:The following is from Lon Grassman's study of dholes in Thailand. The reference is as follows:

Grassman, L. I., Jr., M. E. Tewes, N. J. Silvy, and K. Kreetiyutanont. 2005. Spatial ecology and diet of the dhole Cuon alpinus (Canidae, Carnivora) in north central Thailand. Mammalia. 69: 11-20.

[Image: ThailandPredationSummary001.jpg]

Note: 3 dholes killed a sambar cow and attacked her eyes:

[Image: SambarPredationDescription001.jpg]

Photo of Sambar Cow with Injured Eye Being Attacked:

[Image: SambarPredationPhoto001.jpg]

Another sambar kill from the same area:

Asian wild dogs or dholes (Cuon alpinus) prey on a sambar deer in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand:

[Image: DholesonSambarKill.jpg]

Red Dog
reddhole Wrote:This study documents dhole predation on adult female banteng and their calves. Adult female banteng can weigh 1,400 lbs.

[Image: DholePredationonBanteng001.jpg]

Below is another study from Java where dholes heavily preyed on banteng, including adult females (weigh 1,298 lbs.-1,474 lbs). Unfortunately, the study appears to be poorly translated from a foreign language, but is still readable. 

Summary - Dholes Killed Many Banteng and Was Significantly Impacting the Banteng Population

As you can see below, dhole predation was considered the cause of the banteng population decline from 126 to 15 animals over four years. The study later states a similar situation occurred in Alas Purwo, Java (the area of the paper in my quoted post) where dholes reduced the banteng population from 323 to 119 in 3 years.

[Image: DholesbantengBaluran001.jpg]

How Many Dholes Were Involved in the KIlls? Not Clear, But May Not Be That Many

Unfortunately, the study does not explicitly give the amount of dholes involved in each attack. However, they do list the frequency of different-sized dhole groups observed below. 71% of all groups were 5 dogs or less and 81% were 10 dogs or less. The study also mentions that 3 dholes were needed to kill adult Javan rusa deer, which weigh about 200-300 lbs. As such, they would certainly require more than 3 dholes to kill the larger banteng adults.

[Image: DholesbantengBaluran002.jpg]

Predation Events - Cows, Pregnant Cows, Subadults of Both Sexes, Calves

As you can see, a number of banteng (including non-pregnant cows) were killed. It would be interesting to know "how pregnant" some of the cows were because it seems some animals can live pretty normal until they get very close to giving birth. For example, I recall lionesses hunting very close to the time they gave birth.

[Image: DholesbantengBaluran003.jpg]

Dhole Selectiveness For Larger Prey in Baluran - Lack of Plentiful Medium-Sized Prey

As the following extract states, dholes focus on banteng because medium-sized prey is not abundant. The extract also states that dholes prefer cows, subadults, and calves to bulls. It would be interesting to see if dholes would try to go after bulls if cow and calf numbers drop significantly more.

[Image: DholesbantengBaluran004.jpg]

[Image: DholesbantengBaluran005.jpg]

[Image: DholesbantengBaluran006.jpg]

Figure 3. A pregnant banteng cow killed by a pack of dhole in Baluran National Park.[/quote]

Red Dog Wrote:
reddhole Wrote:[quote='reddhole Wrote:The following is from Lon Grassman's study of dholes in Thailand. The reference is as follows:

Grassman, L. I., Jr., M. E. Tewes, N. J. Silvy, and K. Kreetiyutanont. 2005. Spatial ecology and diet of the dhole Cuon alpinus (Canidae, Carnivora) in north central Thailand. Mammalia. 69: 11-20.

[Image: ThailandPredationSummary001.jpg]

Note: 3 dholes killed a sambar cow and attacked her eyes:

[Image: SambarPredationDescription001.jpg]

Photo of Sambar Cow with Injured Eye Being Attacked:

[Image: SambarPredationPhoto001.jpg]

Another sambar kill from the same area:

Asian wild dogs or dholes (Cuon alpinus) prey on a sambar deer in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand:

[Image: DholesonSambarKill.jpg]

Another account of dholes killing an adult female sambar in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. 5 dholes kill the sambar in water - in the 3rd and 4th paragraphs below.

[Image: DholesKillingAdultFemaleSambar001.jpg]


Red Dog Wrote:Dhole skull compared with equal-sized dog skull. Not sure of the dog breed, but the skull looks fairly robust compared to most dog skulls.

The dhole skull (top one) looks much more powerfully-built.

[Image: DholevsDogSkull001.jpg]

Another view of the skulls. Notice the broader zygomatic arch and muzzle of the dhole skull (top one).

[Image: DholevsDogSkull002.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:Below is an old account from the Journal of Bombay of Natural History. Unfortunately, the accounts at this time were not scientific, but its an interesting read. Dhole puppies fostered by a female pariah dog were very aggressive and the pariah dog puppies had to be seperated for their safety according to this account. The account also talks about the dhole puppies killing and eating domestic dogs when they were grown.

[Image: DholePuppyAggression001.jpg]

[Image: DholePuppyAggression002.jpg]
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
Dhole Kills Sambar Fawn
(photograpers comments attached)

[Image: dhole1.jpg]
The evening before we had an awesome sighting of dhole cornering sambar at the nearby '97' waterhole. I enjoyed that sighting Ravi Naidu, who was with me, but that was Ravi's last round of the trip, he went back to Hyderabad the same night. The next morning was supposed to be my last round. The next day was a Monday and only 4-5 Gypsies entered the park. After crossing the Tadoba Talao area, as we headed towards Pandarpauni meadow, we saw from a distance the overwhelming sight of 100-150 chital running together at full steam, bunched up into a tight herd- no calls, no sound, just plain fear on them. We raced to the site and I can never forget the sight that greeted us! A pack of dhole running equally fast within the herd! As we watched, the herd scattered and so did the pack. A chital fawn got separated and ran across the road a few feet in front of our (the only one there) Gypsy. Following it was a lone dhole. The fawn recrossed the road a few seconds later with the dhole following ever closer. Just as the fawn was about to vanish into cover, the dhole caught up. Being a lone hunter and with its prey quite small, it delivered a big cat style neck grip. The others had vanished after the rest of the herd.

[Image: dhole2.jpg]
Our dhole had a little trouble killing the fawn outright, but succeeded after some hard trying. I was surprised to see the dhole dragging away the kill, again, in pure big cat style, before gorging on it. Everything this dhole did was quite opposite of typical wild dog hunts. Perhaps there were two reasons to explain this- the dhole was alone, and the prey was conveniently small. The guide and driver swore they had never seen anything like this despite living there all their lives. We heard the other dholes whistling and started looking for them. 

[Image: dhole3.jpg]
There were sambar alarm calls from one side and when we went to 'Pandarpauni 2' waterhole, we saw a lone pup, running wildly towards it. It jumped into the water and swam to the other side. It was amazing to watch herds of chital, sambar and wild boar just vanish by the sight of a tiny pup! The few lapwings resting on the other side almost died from a combination of heart attack and shock!

[Image: dhole4.jpg]
Our dhole had a little trouble dragging the kill all alone... pausing every now and then to catch its breath, only to jerk and pull again with renewed determination and excitement. I couldn't help sharing a little bit of that excitement myself! PS: Note the dust flying as the dhole tugs at the kill!

[Image: dhole5.jpg]
And finally, digging into the kill! The dhole gorges on its kill after single-handedly bringing it down. The others joined in soon. For a long while after this incident, Tadoba's famous Pandarpauni meadow was completely devoid of its trademark 100 plus ungulate herds. 
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
Red Dog Wrote:Dholes Killing a Chital Stag:

[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
Red Dog Wrote:Dholes kill Chital Stag in Water. 

Wild dogs killing Spotted Deer in water

Looking out for the dogs, we reached an water tank expecting their probable presence. From the distance we could see a lone sambar stag standing alert with three dogs running past it. What caught next our attention was a Spotted deer running in the water & a dog swimming towards it. Seeing this pack of hunting dogs I positioned the vehicle quickly. What followed was an demonstration of superb team effort and aquatic skills of this six Wild dogs. The Spotted deer decided to swim to the deeper waters to escape. It could not go to the shore as there were around six dogs who had positioned themshelves at different points. Soon one by one, the dogs took turn to swim past the deer in order to tire it down as the deer was quite stressed. This drama went on for next ten minutes. Finally three dogs plunged into the water and started closing in from different sides. Nearing the deer one of the dogs caught the tail of the deer & another went for the neck. The deer let out a few groans and was killed in a minute. After some confirmatory bites on the deer, the pack dragged the kill ashore and started feeding on it. Guests were amazed watching this whole action infront of their eyes and I was struck with the superior skill of this pack. It was an immaculate team effort where some dogs guarded the banks when some swam towards the deer and backing up each other when one or the other got tired. Finally, watching them make a kill in the water was one of their lesser known behaviour.

[Image: DholeChitalStagAttack1.jpg]

[Image: DholeChitalStagAttack2.jpg]

[Image: DholeChitalStagAttack3.jpg]

[Image: DholeChitalStagAttack4.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:More dhole predation in water:

[Image: DholeKillingChitalinWater.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:Below is an account from 1963 of 12 dholes fighting a tiger over a chital carcass. The author states the dholes stole the tiger's carcass and attacked it as it tried to escape up a tree and eventually into the forest based on tracks and blood in the area. 

This seems like a much more credible account than the older ones (mostly from hunters) as this occurred during a time when serious wildlife biology was starting and it came from the "Zoological Survey of India."

Source H. Khajuria, Journal of Bombay Natural History Vol. 60. No. 1 1963.

[Image: Tiger-DholesAccount.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:Two Dholes Tree Young Leopard


Tuesday, November 23, 2010
This is long overdue. Writer's block has been afflicting me often and I'm still not upto it. Of course, I realized if I kept it in abeyance I'd lose the vivid memories I have of this event.

17th April 2010, Bandipur National Park  

Summer did not seem to have affected BNP as badly this year as it did the year before. The jungle actually was green, thanks to the intermittent summer showers. I was in the back of the safari vehicle bumping along the track near Yere Katte. The leopard of the 15th evening was still fresh in memory. One large predator was a boon but I did not know the next bonus was right around the corner.

Just after the Yere Katte on there is a track that runs left from Kolkmalli Katte towards Siddarayana Katte. This track is not used by the safari vehicles regularly as the jungle is denser and sightings are difficult. I have particularly fond memories of that road because my first encounter with the dholes of Bandipur happened at that corner way back in 2005. Whenever I pass that junction I always look  to see if the pack, the one I saw going off down that track, was coming back! It's a different matter that five years have passed, but the habit remains.

Perhaps instinct or perhaps a stroke of good fortune, Kiran, our driver decided to turn down that track that day. Some 500 meters down I saw a flash of brown. It was two dholes running across this track from our right. Something was happening; the dhole were in a hurry. A kill perhaps, that was what flashed in our mind, especially with the langur giving warning calls from the safety of the canopy.

[Image: Dhole1.jpg]

As we reached the spot where the dogs had crossed we slowed down to peer into the dense undergrowth for signs of a struggle indicating a successful chase for the dhole.

We could hear the yapping of the dhole inside the lantana shrubs and eventually spied the two. They were looking up and hopping onto the trunk of a tree and barking at something above.

What we saw, took all of us by surprise. It was a young leopard, standing precariously on a Y-shaped division on the trunk of the tree.

[Image: Dhole2.jpg]

[Image: Dhole3.jpg]

The dogs were having fun, having chased a larger predator up a tree and trying to dislodge it from its slippery perch!

I have seen predators in their natural settings and they always had an air of superiority over them. Secure in the knowledge that they were on top of the food chain they had nothing to fear except perhaps their own kind. The leopard, after all, was the second largest predator after the tiger, in  Bandipur.

This leopard, however, had absolutely no evidence of superiority about it. As a matter of fact it was looking positively embarrassed. Why wouldn't it? It was the bigger creature and there were only two puny dogs to handle. It probably couldn't figure out itself, how it got itself in this rummy situation.

[Image: Dhole4.jpg]

It kept shifting it's position trying to hide its face behind the trunk and at the same time struggling to keep it's balance. There was just enough space in the "V" to keep two paws correctly but the leopard had four, and it would be embarrassing if it fell off the tree into the lantana shrubs below. Imagine getting yourself entangled in a thorny scrub with two excited dogs that were at that point looking very merciless.

[Image: Treedleopard2b.jpg]

Anyway, it wasn't the leopard's day. The dog's weren't all that keen to stop and kept at it for a good ten minutes.

[Image: Dhole6.jpg]

The poor leopard was resolutely hanging on to it's slippery perch. It kept snarling at the dogs below occasionally but that wasn't having any effect on them. They knew that things were in their control.

[Image: Dhole7.jpg]

Eventually they dogs got bored of the game; their playmate wasn't budging so they started wandering off.

[Image: Dhole8.jpg]

They started walking towards the track we were on and turned in the direction of Yere Katte.

[Image: Dhole9.jpg]

Then one of them suddenly appeared to change it's mind and turned back, flopped on the grass and started rolling contentedly.

[Image: Dhole10.jpg]

The other dog too decided it was in no point in abandoning a nice game in a hurry and joined it's mate not ten meters from our vehicle.

[Image: Dhole11.jpg]

The poor leopard on the tree was undecided. It was looking down searching for the dogs but the under-bush was too dense. It could see us but not the pair lying right next to the vehicle.

[Image: Dhole12.jpg]

After some hesitation it probably assumed that the dogs had moved off and decided to take a chance. It gingerly turned on the tree, obviously not wanting to crash down into two annoying dogs lying hidden somewhere below.

[Image: Dhole13.jpg]

Then abruptly it leapt off the tree and disappeared from view. The dog's seemed to have been waiting for this to happen. Even before I could train my camera on them they were off in a flash and the dense lantana swallowed the three protagonists of this drama. We could hear the dogs giving chase again and a little later a violent shaking of a tree some 50 meters further inside drew our attention.

[Image: Dhole14.jpg]

The leopard had managed to escape it's pursuers again and had got into another tree; this time on a narrower but horizontal branch, with it's posterior supported by a smaller one. Certainly less secure but a more comfortable perch than the one before

We knew waiting would be futile and the leopard would not leave the safety of the tree till it was absolutely safe. Besides, the sky was darkening and a downpour was looking a certainty.

When the skies opened up it was a deluge. The three of us in the open back of the safari vehicle got drenched to the skin but for once a bumpy ride in pouring rain was a pleasure. Since there was no point in continuing the safari we returned to the resort an hour earlier but our day was made.

It was a safari like no other before it. Bandipur always rocks. My favourite corner in this world.

PS: This last photo is to show you how high the leopard had climbed up on the tree. Almost 25 feet up, maybe more.

[Image: P4172851.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:Below is an account where a single dhole trees a leopard and apparently tries to attack the leopard as it flees in Kanha National Park.

Single Dhole Trees Leopard


The image shows the habitat of this very camouflaged and elusive mammal. We witnessed a very rare and ultimate sequence, just after we saw the jackal being chased by the tigress, we saw a dhole chase this leopard and while our gypsy was still moving towards the scene i saw the dhole jump behind the leopard while the leopard climbed the tree, it was as if the dhole would also climbing the tree. There was only 1 vehicle standing there in the right place, i wished we had been there a little earlier, i could have got the dhole jumping on the leopard image. Anyway i am satisfied even to witness such a rare scene in the wild.

[Image: SingleDholeTreesLeopardinKanha.jpg]

Red Wrote:Dhole Pack Tree Leopard and Chase Sloth Bear

Had got to see one of those, 'Once in a lifetime' event here in the forest.

There have been quite a bit of leopard sightings here, but earlier this week I spotted a leopard, one of the top predator of the forest, being hunted down by a pack of wild dogs. What most of the people do not know is that, the wild dogs are the most brutal and effective killers in the forests. People have even seen them attack a tiger and eat it up. Normally a tiger's success rate of a hunt is about 30% while the wild dogs success rate is more then 90%. They are the only predators in this forests, which hunt in groups and no animal can take on a group of hungry wild dogs. Infact they start eating their prey while it's still alive.

I first spotted the wild dogs and noticed them trying to jump up a tree.

[Image: wilddogchase1.jpg]
[Image: wilddogchase2.jpg]

Only after few min, we realised there was a leopard on top of that tree and the dogs were trying to get a piece of it.
This went on for a while and the leopard refused to budge. You can see the leopard on top of the tree and the wilddogs waiting at the bottom.

[Image: wilddogchase3.jpg]

Then out of nowhere a large sloth bear walks into the scene. Without realizing, the bear walks straight into to pack of wild dogs. The wild dogs now had a new prey and surround the bear and start to attack the bear from all sides. About two dogs bit the bear and the bear pushed them away. The bear fought back, and started to run and the wild dogs ran behind the bear. I think eventually the bear escaped.

However this gave the leopard a chance to escape.

[Image: wilddogchase4.jpg]

It got down the tree and disappeared into the bushes. We thought all was over and were about to leave, when we see the same leopard climb another large tree and along with it, it took up a dead spotted deer along with it.

[Image: wilddogchase5.jpg]

Since the wild dogs were done now, the leopard relaxed and munched on the dead deer for more then a hour.

[Image: wilddogchase6.jpg]

At that point, it got too dark and was time to leave the place.

Apperently no one till date has ever seen a fight between wild dogs, leopard and sloth bear in Karnataka. There have been sightings of leopard's and tiger's being chased by the dogs, but this kinda thing never happened. I wish I had better shots of this whole event, but the light was bad and I could not get out of the jeep. Even in this forest, they last spotted wild dogs chasing a leopard more then 8 years ago and the last time anyone has ever seen a chase was more then 2 year's ago.

Guess I'm just really lucky to be at the right place at the right time.
Dholes Kill Leopard

Red Dog Wrote:Below is an account of the alpha pair from a pack of 31 dholes taking down a chital stag. One of the dholes initially attacks the stag using agility to dodge the stag's antlers and wounds his rear. The other dog joins with one dhole securing a throat hold while the other attacks the rear.

Alpha Dhole Pair Kill Chital Stag


Monday morning safari started with sighting of few wild dogs on the highway. They were moving inside, towards tavare katte. It’s not easy to miss a pack of 31 wild dogs even if you have little idea of their movement. We caught up with them within 15min. The alpha dogs attempted to make a kill of Sambar fawn, which swan to the middle of the lake. Realizing that the effort was not worth, the pack leaders moved on follwed by sub adults and older pups of the pack.

[Image: SubadultDholeswaitforAlphatoMakeKill.jpg]
Sub-adults and pups waiting for alpha dogs to make a kill

We were sure they will make a kill soon. Within minutes we saw a stag emerge out of bushes, chased by alpha female. She stopped momentarily seeing the jeeps. Taking this chance the stag crossed the road and scampered for an exit. Since there were only 3 jeeps, the dogs were comfortable and had enough space for themselves. The pack leader chased down the stag, faster than a sprinter.

[Image: AlphaDholePairKillingChitalStag1.jpg]
Dholes start eating the prey while it is still alive

Stag was trying to gore the dog with his antlers, but the agility of the dog dodge him and made quick bites. Within seconds we could see the flesh and blood from the rear of the deer. The lead dog was joined by another. One caught the stag by neck and the other started eating from the rear. There is nothing clean or swift about this kill. Each bite will rip piece of flesh from the prey.

The action was simply incredible to watch. No photograph makes justice to the scene i witnessed. Soon, the deer was dead and another dog pulled the carcass inside the bushes.

[Image: AlphaDholePairKillingChitalStag2.jpg]
Can’t describe the pain in the eyes of the deer

Little ahead on the road, the rest of the pack were waiting for the alpha dogs to arrive. Soon after the kill, the alpha female came to invite the rest of the pack for breakfast. She was so well greeted by her pups. They all strolled behind the bushes towards the deer carcass. We left them to have their breakfast in peace.

Red Dog Wrote:Dholes kill chital stag. If you look closely, there are only two adult dholes in video. The rest look like pups which only seem to jump in when the chital is not fighting back vigorously.

Red Dog Wrote:From Reddhole:

[Image: DholeLeopardDietStudies7.jpg]

[Image: DholeLeopardDietStudies6.jpg]

[Image: DholeLeopardDietStudies5.jpg]

[Image: DholeLeopardDietStudies4.jpg]

[Image: DholeLeopardDietStudies3.jpg]

[Image: DholeLeopardDietStudies2.jpg]

[Image: DholeLeopardDietStudies1.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:The old account below shows a group of dholes killing a leopard. 

[Image: WildDogsKillingandTreeingaPanther1.jpg]

[Image: WildDogsKillingandTreeingaPanther2.jpg]
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
Red Dog Wrote:
Quote: From Sam1: So are you saying that dhole has a skull wider than an apbt at parity?
Can you post some comparisons?

It is tough to say for sure due the to lack of large numbers of skull measurements of pit bulls and dholes. A parity comparison would neccessarily involve a very small pit bull since dholes only weigh 22-44 lbs and pit bulls can reach 80 lbs. or more.

I suspect that dholes on average would have larger skulls than pit bulls which are more terrier than bulldog like. My 45 lb. APBT is more terrier type (i.e. high prey drive), but still has a pit bull skull in that it is relatively broad. Her skull is approximately 19 cm X 10 cm. Dhole skulls are about 18.5 -20 cm long and 10.3 to 11.8 cm wide. However, my dog's skull measurements should be reduced for a fair comparison since the dhole measurements were based off bare skulls from dead animals.

I think staffies may have wider skulls, but I have not seen any measurements along with the specimen's body mass. For example, I posted a staffie skull width of 13.3 cm (from a live animal - actual skull width would be lower) from a study with no accompanying body mass. While staffies should weigh about the same as a dhole, I have noticed many dogs described as staffies weighing much more. Thus, it is not really conclusive IMHO.

However, whether dholes have greater bite forces than similar size pit bulls or not is not that big of a deal in the sense that even being mentioned in the same league means dholes can do serious damage.

Here is a comparison of dhole and other wild canid skull measurements with domestic dogs (dots in graph). "1" represent canis species, dholes, and AWDs. I've listed the largest possible dhole skull measurement (based on longest skull measurement and widest skull measurement) and smallest possible dhole skull measurement. Unfortunately, the condylbasal skull length and zygomatic width data for dholes is listed seperately so we can't say for sure if the longest and shortest skulls also are the widest and most narrow skulls. I've added 1.2 cm to dhole condylbasal skull length measurements to come up with total skull length for this comparison.

The dhole measurements are as follows:

Condylbasal skull length (smallest & largest) 17.4 cm; 18.8 cm
Total skull length (smallest & largest- estimated) 18.6 cm; 20.0 cm

Zygomatic width (smallest & largest): 10.3 cm; 11.8 cm

Also note that domestic dogs with the same skull length as dholes are likely heavier. For example, a few of the domestic dogs with larger zygomatic widths and shorter skull lengths are likely english bulldogs which weigh more than dholes. Dhole skulls are wider than domestic dog averages (as shown by domestic dog regression or trend line). Unfortunately, the wolf skulls in this study were not particularly large (largest skull slightly less than average male boreal wolf).

It is also possible some of the "1" measurements above the dhole range are dholes. This study was conducted after the study I pulled the dhole measurements from.

[Image: DholeandDomesticDogSkulllengthandZygomaticWidth.jpg]

You can also compare dhole skull width to these dogs based on basal skull length (a shorter skull length measurement) on page 40 of the following book. I know of one small dhole skull measurement with a basal skull length of 17.69 cm and zygomatic width of 10.78 cm (original Wroe bite force study). If we gross this up for the largest dhole zygomatic width (11.8/10.8 * 17.69) we can estimate the largest dhole skull would be 19.3 cm X 11.8 cm on this chart. The only dog skulls which are wider with eqaul or shorter basal skull lengths on this chart are are a boxer and bulldog - old type which both weigh more than a dhole.

Here is a comparison of dhole and domestic dog (breed unknown skull):

[Image: DholevsDogSkull001.jpg]

[Image: DholevsDogSkull002.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:The video below shows two dholes, mostly one, attacking a sambar calf (a decent sized animal even at this age) by avoiding the mother's defenses. If you look around the 2:50 mark, the dhole bites the sambar calf a few times and around the 3:30 mark you can see the severe wounds on the sambar calf from only a few bites. A sambar's hide is much thicker than a human's skin and the wounds on a person, especially with 3 dogs attacking, would be far more severe. If the person did not have protection from clothing they would be even more at risk.

Note the 7:50 mark. The sambar mother also received some leg wounds. Another video on youtube shows that the calf was indeed killed.

Red Dog Wrote:Dholes are actually stocky and have a low-center of gravity for wild canids. This is likely due to their forested habitats and the lesser need for cursorial habits/need to bring down large prey. Nutrition (i.e. wild canids often have poorer nutrition due to food shortages, especially when young when frrequent feeding is very imnportant) and age (a high propoprtion of wild carnivores are not fully mature) are major factors impacting the robusiticity of wild canids.

Some better pictures:

[Image: BurmeseDhole.jpg]

[Image: dholeapproachingpic.jpg]

[Image: DholeSambarwater.jpg]

[Image: Dholeurinatingonmate001.jpg]

[Image: Stockydholerunning001.jpg]

[Image: dholeprofile.jpg]

Red Dog Wrote:From Lycaon: Leopard and Dholes

Red Wrote:Single dhole kills chital. Note the throat hold that is applied.

Canidae Wrote:Dhole prey in Laos.
[Image: Dhole1.png]

[Image: Dhole2.png]

More info in the paper too.
From : Kamler, J. F., A. Johnson, C. Vongkhamheng, and A. Bousa. 2012. The diet, prey selection, and activity of dholes (Cuon alpinus) in northern Laos. Journal of Mammalogy 93:627-633.

Red Dog Wrote:Some accounts canidae enthusiasts might find interesting...

Dholes kill tiger cub

Tiger cub killed by wild dogs in Chanda
TNN Jun 30, 2012, 01.30AM IST
Tags:Tiger cub|Moharli forest range|FDCMCHANDRAPUR: Yet another tiger was added to the death toll in Chandrapur district on Friday. A pack of wild dogs reportedly killed a tiger cub in Dhaba range in Gondpipri tehsil in the afternoon. Forests in Chandrapur district have lost in all seven tigers this year now.

The patrolling squad discovered the partially eaten carcass of the tiger cub in compartment no. 561, near village Vejgaon in Dhaba range under Central Chanda forest division, during routine patrolling in the afternoon. It appears that a pack of wild dogs brought down the tiger cub and eat the rear portion of its body.

"Forest watchers recruited for patrolling saw the pack of wild dogs eating the carcass. The dogs fled when the watchers approached the dead body. They also discovered a large number of wild dog pug marks in the area," said ACF Pradeep Kottewar.

Sources claimed that the cub is aged around eight months and measured around 80cm in length. Sex of the cub however could not be learnt as its genitals had been eaten by the dogs. Forest officers have ruled out poaching, claiming that its body parts like teeth and nails are intact, while skin has been damaged as carcass was eaten by wild dogs. The dead body of the cub was fresh and forest officials suspect that the cub was killed not long before it was detected by the patrolling squad.

DCF, Central Chanda division, Madan Kulkarni and his subordinates rushed to the spot on getting information. Veterinary doctor PM Kadukar was summoned for post mortem at the spot. Wildlife activist Bandu Dhotre was present as representative of PCCF and honorary wildlife warden of Gadchiroli Mahendra Singh Chavan was summoned as representative of NTCA to witness the post mortem.

So far six tigers, one each in every month, have died in Chandrapur district this year. First tiger was poached through electrocution in Jharan range of FDCM and its partially decomposed carcass sans all four paws was discovered on January 23. Second tiger was found dead in suspicious condition in Lohara teak research centre on February 18. Forest officers claimed it was a hit and run case, but possibility of electrocution was not ruled out. Third tiger was found dead near village Kitadi in Moharli Forest Range (Territorial) on March 1. Its body was decomposed and forest officers termed it as natural death.

Fourth tiger was killed in steel jaw trap laid by poachers in Palasgaon range on April 26, while one more was maimed for life in another trap at the same spot. Fifth tiger was poached and its body sans head and paws and chopped into 11 pieces was thrown near Borda village in Chandrapur range on May 18. This killing of tiger cub allegedly by wild dogs has taken the tiger death toll in Chandrapur to six this year. Last year four tigers had died in the district.


Dholes kill sub-adult leopard

Leopard carcass found, officials rule out poaching
TNN Nov 18, 2011, 05.36AM IST
TagsTonguealebarsa jungle|leopard death|leopard carcass|adult leopardCHANDRAPUR: A semi adult leopard's body parts were found scattered in Palebarsa jungle under Saoli forest range on Thursday morning by some schoolchildren from Palebarsa. Forest officials have attributed the killing to wild dogs and denied poaching. However, it is the tenth instance of leopard death in district in this year.

The children first saw the severed head of the leopard while they were collecting berries in the forest on Wednesday. They told the elders in the village, who in turn informed the foresters of the area in the evening. A team of forest department staffers led by ACF NJ Waghade and RFO, Saoli range, NJ Giradkar went into the jungle and recovered the body parts scattered in compartment no 149 of Palebarsa beat on Thursday morning.

"The leopard aged around two years was killed by wild dogs and most of its body eaten. We could only recover the head, some bones, spinal cord and a leg of the beast. Dogs have either eaten the rest of the body or dragged it to some distant place," said ACF Waghade.

He denied the chances of poaching in the case, claiming that valuable parts such as teeth, skin and nails were intact on the body parts recovered from the jungle. "The children who saw the dead leopard also saw the wild dogs eating the flesh. Villagers too have ratified the presence of a pack of wild dogs in that patch of the jungle. Wild dogs are dangerous and hunt in pack of 7-8 members. They can bring down large animals like leopard easily," he said. Waghade informed that a veterinary doctor performed the post mortem of the recovered body parts on the spot and collected samples for forensic testing. The dead body was later cremated in presence of witnesses.

Notably, it is the tenth case of leopard death in the district this year since April 1. The last case of leopard death was reported in Bhadrawati forest range close to Ordnance Factory, Chanda premises on October 4. Strangely, in majority of the cases, the cause of the death of the leopards has remained unconfirmed due to putrefied condition of the carcasses.


Dholes kill leopard cub

Wild dogs kill leopard cub.Nagpur
23 Jun 2012
A pack of 15-20 wild dogs preyed on a male leopard cub near Pendhari village in Mansing Deo Wildlife Sanctuary on Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh border, about 200 kms from here, forest sources said today. The one and half year old cub strayed into the village from nearby forest yesterday on Nagpur-Jabalpur road and soon the wild dogs chased and ate it, they said. A team of veterinary doctors reached the spot after the incident, sources added.

Dholes kill sub-adult leopard

Leopard hunted by wild dogs near Mansinghdeo
TNN Jun 23, 2012, 12.16AM IST
Tags:Mansinghdeo Wildlife Sanctuary|FDCMNAGPUR: A sub-adult leopard was found dead, probably hunted by wild dogs, in Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM) area near Mansinghdeo Wildlife Sanctuary, 45km from Nagpur, on Friday morning.

"The parts of the leopard were found scattered at a spot in compartment number 632 of Khubala beat around 100 metres from sanctuary. The animal is suspected to have been killed two days ago," said S P Wadaskar, divisional manager, Nagpur.

The leopard's skull, legs and half eaten parts were found scattered on the spot by a grazer around 8am on Friday. FDCM officials including assistant manager P R Dawda, and honorary district wildlife warden Kundan Hate and others reached the spot around 12 noon.

They suspect the leopard might have been killed by wild dogs. "Scat of dogs and pugmarks were found near the spot. In an attempt to save itself, the leopard also tried to climb a tree on which fresh scrape marks were evident," Wadaskar said.

The carcass was putrefied and hence post-mortem could not be performed. The scat and bone samples have been collected and will be sent to forensic lab for testing.

This is the second case of leopard death in FDCM area around Mansinghdeo. On May 20, three leopards were accidentally electrocuted leopards near Surewani, 60km from Nagpur.

The sanctuary was notified on November 2, 2010, but even after 18 months wildlife management works have not been undertaken causing problems. This is despite the fact that requisite staff has been posted. A leopard was sighted in Saleghat during the machan census on May 6.

[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
Odor that smells like blood: Single component powerful trigger for large carnivores

Date: November 10, 2014
Source: Linköping University
People find the smell of blood unpleasant, but for predatory animals it means food. When behavioral researchers wanted to find out which substances of blood trigger behavioral reactions, they got some unexpected results.

[Image: 141110150922-large_zpsabb4bc1b.jpg]
African wild dogs compete for a log impregnated with blood or a single component. Both were equally attractive.

People find the smell of blood unpleasant, but for predatory animals it means food. When behavioural researchers at Linköping University in Sweden wanted to find out which substances of blood trigger behavioural reactions, they got some unexpected results.
Matthias Laska is professor of zoology, specialising in the sense of smell. For some time his focus has been on scents that directly affect the behaviour of animals.
"For predators, food scents are particularly attractive, and much of this has to do with blood. We wanted to find out which chemical components create the scent of blood," he says.
The study, conducted at Kolmården Wildlife Park, found that for the animals, one particular component of blood odour was just as engaging as the blood odour itself.
"It's a completely new discovery that raises interesting questions on evolution," says Prof Laska.
The study has been published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.
When Prof Laska did a search for the contents of volatile substances in mammalian blood, he found nothing. Human blood has been analysed for disease markers, but we have very little information on the substances that give blood its characteristic scent.
A master's student was sent to Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in Erlangen Germany, to analyse mammalian blood with the help of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, methods used for separating and identifying chemical compounds in a sample. The machine detected some 30 substances, of which some are decomposition products from fats. But the machine lost the job to the human scent experts who had also been engaged. They identified scents that the gas chromatograph missed completely.
One substance stood out: an aldehyde called trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal, which emits the typical metallic scent that humans associate with blood.
Once the researchers had identified a scent candidate that the predators should be attracted to, they wanted to test whether the predators were actually attracted to it in reality. So they designed a study to be conducted at Kolmården Wildlife Park, involving four predator species. How would the four predators -- Asian wild dogs, African wild dogs, South American bush dogs and Siberian tigers -- react when they caught a whiff of the scent?
Half-metre long wooden logs were impregnated with four different liquids: lab-produced aldehyde, horse blood, fruit essence, and a near-odourless solvent. The animals were exposed to one scent per day in their regular enclosure, while a group of students carefully observed their behaviour.
The results were unequivocal. The logs containing aldehyde were just as attractive stimuli as those containing blood, while the two other logs aroused little interest. The commonest behaviours were sniffing, licking, biting, pawing and toying. The tiger was the most persistent, while the South American bush dogs lost interest more quickly than the other species.
The study is the first to show that a single component can be just as attractive as the complex odour.
"How this has developed through evolution is an interesting question. Perhaps there is a common denominator for all mammalian blood," says Prof Laska.
He has plans for several follow-ups of the study, including how prey animals such as mice react to blood odour.
For the wildlife park, the study provided results that can be used in its daily operations. Animals in captivity require stimulation, so as not to deteriorate or become fat. The odourised logs can be a popular addition to the animal's environment.

Journal Reference:
Sara Nilsson, Johanna Sjöberg, Mats Amundin, Constanze Hartmann, Andrea Buettner, Matthias Laska. Behavioral Responses to Mammalian Blood Odor and a Blood Odor Component in Four Species of Large Carnivores. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (11): e112694 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112694

Only little is known about whether single volatile compounds are as efficient in eliciting behavioral responses in animals as the whole complex mixture of a behaviorally relevant odor. Recent studies analysing the composition of volatiles in mammalian blood, an important prey-associated odor stimulus for predators, found the odorant trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal to evoke a typical “metallic, blood-like” odor quality in humans. We therefore assessed the behavior of captive Asian wild dogs (Cuon alpinus), African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), South American bush dogs (Speothos venaticus), and Siberian tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) when presented with wooden logs that were impregnated either with mammalian blood or with the blood odor component trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal, and compared it to their behavior towards a fruity odor (iso-pentyl acetate) and a near-odorless solvent (diethyl phthalate) as control. We found that all four species displayed significantly more interactions with the odorized wooden logs such as sniffing, licking, biting, pawing, and toying, when they were impregnated with the two prey-associated odors compared to the two non-prey-associated odors. Most importantly, no significant differences were found in the number of interactions with the wooden logs impregnated with mammalian blood and the blood odor component in any of the four species. Only one of the four species, the South American bush dogs, displayed a significant decrease in the number of interactions with the odorized logs across the five sessions performed per odor stimulus. Taken together, the results demonstrate that a single blood odor component can be as efficient in eliciting behavioral responses in large carnivores as the odor of real blood, suggesting that trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal may be perceived by predators as a “character impact compound” of mammalian blood odor. Further, the results suggest that odorized wooden logs are a suitable manner of environmental enrichment for captive carnivores.

[Image: d2a9b166-276e-4070-b6ca-d929af6d989f_zps2537496d.png] 
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
nok Wrote:Dhole is rediscovered in Mongolia after 46 years! A Dhole picture was taken by phototrap prepared by a team who were conducting research on Gobi bear, in a Gobi region, South of Altai mountains. The last known officialy proven case of Dhole sighting was registered in 1969. Since then the Red Book of Mongolia Dhole was classified as critically endangered species and by it's last edition of 2014 it was shifted from critically endangered to an extinct status. However it took only a year for Dhole, to reclaim it's presence in Mongolia. Hope the goverment of Mongolia will take necessary steps to preserve that wonderful animals.

[Image: 947d8c6bb08c3362big.jpg]

As a Mongolian and an animal lover I feel extremely happy by today's news. Hope carnivora members will understand the level of my delight! Smile

Warsaw2014 Wrote:Journal of The Bombay Natural History Society 1963 60:448-449. The Wild Dog (C'uon Alpinus (Pallas) and the Tiger [Panthern Tigris (Linn.)] H Khajuria.

[Image: 2uf7prr.jpg]
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)