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Mammalia > Carnivora > Canidae > Canis

Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758 – Grey Wolf

Taxonomic Notes:

Grey wolf Canis lupus has wide distribution in Eurasia and N. America. There are several subspecies of this species of which Indian wolf Canis lupus pallipes and Mongolian Wolf/Himalayan Wolf Canis lupus chanco are distributed in India. There still exists an open debate over species recognition of these two subspecies. Some taxonomists consider them as subspecies under Canis lupus (as represented here) owing to lack of enough molecular and morphological studies to elevate it to individual separate species. Some other taxonomists suggest "Indian Wolf" Canis lupus pallipes to be elevated to a separate species i.e. Canis indica and "Himalayan Wolf" Canis lupus chanco as another separate species i.e. Canis himalayensis. Nevertheless, it remains unresolved due to lack of enough evidences and thorough scientific research.

Indian and global distribution:
records (based on images):
Sexual, seasonal & individual variation:
Status, Habitat and Habits:
Conservation Status:

Indian Population of Gray wolf (without accounting for its dubious status as a separate species) is 'Endangered' according to some taxonomists and wildlife scientists. But there is no appropriate IUCN assessment of threat status this species' Indian population. Gray Wolf inhabits grasslands and scrublands which are often treated as wasteland. Such areas are highly vulnerable to destruction owing to industrial use and agricultural expansion. Wolf is also often found predating domestic sheep and goat, which brings up on another threat of retaliatory killing, trapping, and poisoning. Wolf pups are also killed at times by smoking and burning their dens to avoid any future threat to livestock. These all threats have contributed to decrease in its population and fragmentation.


Mammalia > Carnivora > Canidae > Canis

Cite this page along with its URL as:
Bayani, A. 2023. Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758 – Grey Wolf. A. Bayani, R. Chakravarty, P. Roy, and K. Kunte (editors). Mammals of India, v. 1.13. editors.
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