On the occurrence of the Himalayan Wolf Canis lupus, L. 1758 (Mammalia: Carnivora: Canidae) in the Gaurishankar Conservation Area, Nepal; its existence confirmed through sign and visual evidence in Rolwaling Valley

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Bishnu Prasad Pandey
Shankar Man Thami
Rabin Shrestha
Mukesh Kumar Chalise


The Himalayan Wolf Canis lupus L., a top predator of the Third Pole, is proposed to be of a distinct wolf lineage (C. himalayensis) relative to the Holarctic Grey Wolf as described by mtDNA analyses. A biodiversity survey organized by the Gaurishankar Conservation Area Project (GCAP) has captured images of wolves in three different regions, and the study team has observed wolf scats in five additional regions above the tree line in Rolwaling Valley. Further, interviews with local herders provided evidence of wolf depredation of livestock in the area. The Rolwaling Valley in the Gaurishankar Conservation Area was the study area which was divided into 12, 4 x 4 km (16 km2) grid cells, each supplied with one camera trap operated continuously from June to November 2019 (only 6 out of 12 cameras functioned for the duration of our study). Wolf detections were recorded by camera traps from Yalung Pass (4,956 m), Tsho-Rolpa glacial Lake (4,536 m) and the Dudhkunda ridgeline (5,091 m). The photo capture rate index (PCRI) for wolves was 0.71. Our study reports the first photographic evidence of the Himalayan Wolf in the Rolwaling Valley.

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