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South AsiaDhole Cuon alpinus

Dhole - © Senani

Dhole Working Group - The overall goal of the Dhole Working Group is to gather information about dhole ecology, biology and conservation status that will lead to formulation of research priorities. The working group also aims to promote conservation of this species through facilitating research collaboration and dissemination of research findings to the scientific community and public.

  • Range-wide PHVA for the dhole - Kao, J., N. Songsasen, K. Ferraz and K. Traylor-Holzer (Eds.). 2020. Range-wide Population and Habitat Viability Assessment for the Dhole, Cuon alpinus. IUCN SSC Conservation Planning Specialist Group, Apple Valley, MN, USA.
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English: Dhole, Red dog, Asiatic wild dog; Assamese: Kuang-kukur, rang-kukur; Bengali: Ban Kutta, Ban-kukur; Bhutanese: Phara; Burmese: Tan-kwe; Canarese: Ken-nai, chen-nai; Chenchu: Reis-kukul; Chinese: Nyar; Gujiarati: Earam-naiko; Gurkhali: Ban-kukur; Hindi: Adivi-kuta, son-kuta, sona-kuta, rasa-kuta; Hindustani: Jungli-kuta, rwn-kuta, ban-kuta; Kachin: Kyi-kwa-lam; Kashmiri: Jungli-kuta, ram-hun, ban-kuta, bhansa; Korku: Bun-secta; Lepcha: sa-tun; Malay: Sirgala Aijing-kutar; Malayalam: Hahmasai-kuta, kotsun, kolsa, kolarsi; Nepali: Bwaso; Tibetan: Phara; Tamil: Chen-nai; Telegu: Vanna-kooka; (all from Burton 1940). Thai: Maa Paa.


It is estimated that fewer than 2,500 mature individuals remain in the wild and the declining population trend is expected to continue. Main threats to the species include ongoing habitat loss, depletion of prey base, interspecific competition, persecution and possibly disease transfer from domestic and feral dogs.

Population trend:Decreasing

(Dhole range map)
(Click on map for more detail)

Habitat and Ecology:

The dhole is found in a wide variety of vegetation types, including: primary, secondary and degraded forms of tropical dry and moist deciduous forest; evergreen and semi-evergreen forests; dry thorn forests; grassland–scrub–forest mosaics; and alpine steppe (above 3,000 m). They are not recorded from desert regions.

In India, tropical dry and moist deciduous forest may represent optimal habitats, based on the regions thought to hold the largest dhole populations. Ungulate biomass, particularly that of cervid species, is highest in these vegetation types when compared to others in the same region (A. Venkataraman and V. Narendra Babu, unpubl.). In India, tropical dry and moist deciduous forests are subject to seasonal monsoon climates.

Important factors that may influence habitat selection include the availability of medium to large ungulate prey species, water, the presence of other large carnivore species, human population levels and suitability of breeding sites (proximity to water, presence of suitable boulder structures and sufficient prey).