Listed under the Endangered category of the IUCN Red List, the dhole is a wild canid found in the forests of central, south, and southeast Asia. WCS-India has conducted conservation research studies across multiple scales using a combination of field-based, laboratory-based and other innovative approaches. WCS–India's analysis of dhole distribution from 2007 to 2015 showed that dhole-occupied areas had reduced from 62% to 54% in Karnataka’s Western Ghats.

A pack of dholes frolic near a water body

Our work has created a comprehensive and strategic roadmap for dhole conservation in India, combining ecological, social, biogeographic and political attributes. We are currently involved in developing novel methods to identify individual dholes from their scats to estimate their populations.

WCS-India researchers on field in dhole ranges 


Programme Partners



  • Srivathsa, A., Banerjee, A., Banerjee, S., Chawla, M.M., Das, A., Ganguly, D., Rodrigues, R.G., Adhya, T., Bhatia, S., Kshettry, A., Majgaonkar, I., Punjabi, G.A., Puri, M., Singh, P., Surve, N. (2022) Chasms in charismatic species research: Seventy years of carnivore science and its implications for conservation and policy in India. Biological Conservation. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2022.10969
  • Punjabi G.A., Havmøller, L.W., Havmøller, R.W., Ngoprasert, D., Srivathsa, A. (2022) Methodological approaches for estimating populations of the endangered dhole Cuon alpinus. PeerJ, 10:e12905.
  • Rodrigues, R.G.Srivathsa, A., Vasudev, V. (2021) Dog in the matrix: Envisioning countrywide connectivity conservation for an endangered carnivore. Journal of Applied Ecology. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.14048
  • Srivathsa, A., Rodrigues, R.G., Toh, K.B., Taylor, R.W., Zachariah, A., Oli, M.K., Ramakrishnan, U. (2021) The truth about scats and dogs: Next-generation sequencing and spatial capture–recapture models offer opportunities for conservation monitoring of an endangered social canid. Biological Conservation, 256, 109028. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2021.109028.




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Photo Copyright: Ramki Sreenivasan, Dinesh Kumble
Illustrations: Aditi Rajan, Arjun Srivathsa