WILDLIFE RESEARCH

Genetics of Trans-Himalayan Wolf (Canis lupus)

Himalayan Wolf is a sub-species of the Gray Wolf- a fairly new species. They are mostly found in India (Jammu, Kashmir) and Nepal with some reported presence in China and Mongolia. There is limited information on basic ecology of this species in the Himalayan and Trans-Himalayan regions. The Himalayan wolf is listed as an endangered species in certain areas of India and Nepal with estimated population of 350 left in the wild.

Genetic analysis has shown that this species is distinct from its closely related Indian Wolf species. CMDN is carrying out cutting-edge molecular based genetic analysis on this species specifically targeting D-loop mtDNA Cytochrome b(Cytb) to do species identification and extrapolate phylogenetic intra and inter species relationships. Microsatellite marker based assays are being used to identify canis lupus on individual level using non-invasive fecal samples from the northwest region of Nepal. CMDN is collaborating with the WildGenes laboratory of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the Himalayan Wolf Project of the University of Oxford.

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