Indian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes)

Indian wolf at the Jaipur Zoo in Rajasthan, India; By © Rijin S/ Wikimedia Commons /, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Indian/Iranian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes) – (Sykes 1831)

Common Names: Indian Wolf, Iranian Wolf

Overall population: Unknown. Estimated at 2,000-3,000.

Physical description:
“Its coloration varies from grayish red to reddish white, with a touch of grey, many of the hairs being black tipped; there is generally black on the back, especially a V-shaped patch behind the shoulders. The limbs are paler than the body. The tail slightly or decidedly tipped with black. The underparts of the body are more or less white.”
[Mivart, G. (1890), Dogs, Jackals, Wolves and Foxes: A Monograph of the Canidæ, London: R.H. Porter : Dulau, pp. 9-10]

Original range – Widespread throughout the Holy Land east and west of the Jordan River into the Indian Subcontinent.
Current range – Holy Land to the Indian Subcontinent including Bhutan, India, Nepal, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria?, Afghanistan.

Habitat / Ecology / Prey:

Habitat: Thorn forests, scrub-lands, arid and semi-arid grassland habitats and agro-pastoral regions of semi-arid India.

   -Global Warming

Prey:  antelope- nilgai (Boselaphus tregocamelus), Indian gazelle “chinkara” (Gazella Bennettii), Indian antelope “blackbuck” (Antelope cervicapra) , Tibetan antelope “chiru” (Pantholops hodgsonii) , and four-horned, hares, rodents, livestock (goats and sheep)

Unique behaviors:
The Indian Wolf lives in smaller packs than its European and American counterparts, typically not exceeding 6-8 individuals. The Indian Wolves also hunt in smaller packs, usually in pairs. The wolves are less vocal than other gray wolves and tend to rarely howl.

Legal, Economic and Cultural Background:

Middle East;  Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria?, Afghanistan.
Asia; Bhutan, India, Nepal

Taxonomic/Genetic Information:

Indian/Iranian Wolf
Wolves in Bhutan, India, Nepal, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria?, Afghanistan.

Further Reading

Sykes, William H. (1831). “Catalogue of the Mammalia of Dukun (Deccan); with observations on the habits, etc., and characters of new species”. Proceedings of the Committee of Science and Correspondence of the Zoological Society of London 1830–1831. London: Zoological Society of London.

Sharma, D. K.; Maldonado, J. E.; Jhala, Y. V.; Fleischer, R. C. (2004). “Ancient wolf lineages in India”. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 271 (Suppl 3): S1–S4

Journal / Scientific Publications:

Detecting hybridization between Iranian wild wolf (Canis lupus pallipes) and free-ranging domestic dog (Canis familiaris) by analysis of microsatellite markers
R Khosravi, HR Rezaei, M Kaboli – Zoological Science, 2013 – BioOne

Evidence for the persistence of Arabian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes) in the Ibex Reserve, Saudi Arabia and its preferred prey species; T Wronski, W Macasero – Zoology in the Middle East, 2008 – Taylor & Francis

Ecology of Indian Wolf, canis lupus pallipes sykes, 1831, and modeling its potential habitat in the great Indian bustard sanctuary, Maharashtra, India
B Habib – 2007 –

Mitochondrial DNA coding region sequences support the phylogenetic distinction of two Indian wolf species; RK Aggarwal, T Kivisild, J Ramadevi… – Journal of Zoological …, 2007 – Wiley Online Library

Distribution, status and conservation of Indian gray wolf (Canis lupus pallipes) in Karnataka, India; M Singh, HN Kumara – Journal of Zoology, 2006 – Wiley Online Library

[HTML] Ancient origin and evolution of the Indian wolf: evidence from mitochondrial DNA typing of wolves from Trans-Himalayan region and Pennisular India
RK Aggarwal, J Ramadevi… – Genome …, 2003 –

notes on breeding the Indian wolf Canis lupus pallipes at Jaipur Zoo; RN Yadav – International Zoo Yearbook, 1968 – Wiley Online Library

MOVEMENTS OF A RADIO-COLLARED WOLF (CANISLUPUS PALLIPES) IN THE NEGEV HIGHLANDS, ISRAEL; DA Afik, PU Alkon – Israel journal of zoology, 1983 – Taylor & Francis; DA Afik, PU Alkon – Israel journal of zoology, 1983 – Taylor & Francis