The population of the Asiatic wild dog or dhole (Cuon alpinus) in the wild has been estimated to be less than 2500 mature individuals. This has led to the IUCN assessing the Asiatic wild dog as Endangered. The killing of Asiatic wild dogs in retaliation for livestock depredation is one of the major threat for the species across its geographic range. Understanding the prey preference of endangered large carnivores is imperative for making informed conservation decisions and devising management strategies. We studied the prey preference of the Asiatic wild dog by reviewing studies that have been conducted on the diet and prey abundance of the species across its distributional range. Nine available studies conducted in eight protected areas of three countries, in which 5265 scats were studied, were reviewed. Across studies, we tested whether prey consumption was based on prey availability or prey body mass. The value of Jacobs’ index was determined for each prey species and tested against the proportion of available prey and body mass. Sambar (Rusa unicolor) and chital (Axis axis) were found to be significantly preferred by the Asiatic wild dog, and the preferred prey body mass range was between 40 and 60 kg. The prey preference of the Asiatic wild dog was mainly influenced by the availability of prey.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Acharya, B.B., 2007. The Ecology of the Dhole or Asiatic Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus) in Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh. Saurashtra University, Rajkot (Ph.D. thesis), 117 pp.
Andheria, A.P., Karanth, K.U., Kumar, N.S., 2007. Diet and prey profiles of three sympatric large carnivores in Bandipur Tiger Reserve, India. J. Zool. (Lond.) 273, 169–175.
Arivazhagan, C, Arumugam, R., Thiyagesan, K., 2007. Food habits of leopard (Panthera pardusfuca), dhole (Cuon alpinus) and striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena) in a tropical drythorn forest of southern India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 104, 178–187.
Barnett, B.D., Cohen, J.A., Johnsingh, A.J.T., Fox, M.W., 1980. Food habits ofthe Indian wild dog (Cuon alpinus): a preliminary analysis. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 77 (2), 313–317.
Berwick, S.H., 1974. The Communities of Wild Ruminants in the Gir Forest Ecosystem. Yale University, USA (Ph.D. dissertation), 226 pp.
Borah, J., Deka, K., Dookia, S., Gupta, R.P., 2009. Food habits of dholes (Cuon alpinus) in Satpura Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India. Mammalia 73, 85–88.
Burrows, R., 1992. Rabies in wild dog. Nature, 277–359.
Cohen, J.A., Fox, M.W., Johnsingh, A.J.T., Barnett, B.D., 1978. Food habits ofthe dhole in south India. J. Wildl. Manage. 42, 933–936.
Davidar, E.R.C., 1975. Ecology and behaviour ofthe dhole or Indian wild dog (Cuon alpinus Pallas). In: Fox, M.W. (Ed.), The Wild Canids. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, pp. 109–119.
Durbin, L.S., Hedges, S., Duckworth, J.W., Tyson, M., Lyenga, A., Venkataraman, A., 2008. Cuon alpinus. In: IUCN 2008, IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Fox, M.W., 1984. The Whistling Hunters: Field Studies ofthe Asiatic Wild Dog (Cuonalpinus). State University of New York Press, Albany, ISBN 0-87395-843-8.
Gopi, G.V., Bilal, H., Selvan, K.M., Lyngdoh, S., 2012. Conservation of the Endangered Asiatic Wild Dog Cuon alpinus in Western Arunachal Pradesh: Linking Ecology, Ethnics and Economics to Foster Better Coexistence. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun (DST Project Completion Report). TR-2012/003,137 pp.
Grassman Jr., L.I., Tewes, M.E., Silvy, N.J., Kreetiyutanont, K., 2005. Spatial ecology and diet ofthe dhole Cuon alpinus (Canidae Carnivora) in north central Thailand. Mammalia 69, 11–20.
Hayward, M.W., Jedrzejewski, W., Jedrzejewska, B., 2012. Prey preference ofthe tiger Panthera tigris. J. Zool. (Lond.) 286, 221–231.
Hayward, M.W., Henschel, P., O’Brien, J., Hofmeyr, M., Balme, G., Kerley, G.I.H., 2006a. Prey preferences ofthe leopard (Panthera pardus). J. Zool. (Lond.) 270, 298–313.
Hayward, M.W., O’Brien, J., Hofmeyr, M., Kerley, I.H.G., 2006b. Prey preference of he African wild dog Lycan pictus (Canidae: Carnivora): ecological requirements for conservation.J. Mammal. 87, 1122–1131.
Hayward, M.W., Kerley, G., 2005. Prey preferences ofthe lion (Panthera leo). J. Zool. (Lond). 267, 309–322.
Jacobs, J., 1974. Quantitative measurement of food selection: a modification ofthe forage ratio and Ivlev’s electivity index. Oecologia 14, 413–417.
Johnsingh, A.J.T., 1982. Ecology and behaviour ofthe dhole (Cuon alpinus). J. Zool. (Lond.) 198, 443–463.
Johnsingh, A.J.T., 1983. Large mammalian prey-predators in Bandipur. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 80, 1–57.
Johnsingh, A.J.T., 1984. Dhole: dog ofthe Indian jungle. Sanctuary 4, 235–243.
Johnsingh, A.J.T., 1985. Distribution and status of dhole Cuon alpinus Pallas, 1811 in South Asia. Mammalia 49, 203–208.
Kamler, J.F., Johnson, A., Vongkhamheng, C, Bousa, A., 2012. The diet, prey selection, and activity of dholes (Cuon alpinus) in northern Laos. J. Mammal. 93, 627–633.
Karanth, K.U., Sunquist, M.E., 1992. Population structure, density and biomass of large herbivores in the tropical forests of Nagarhole, India.J.Trop. Ecol. 8, 61–35.
Karanth, K.U., Sunquist, M.E., 1995. Prey selection by tiger, leopard and dhole in tropical forests. J. Anim. Ecol. 64, 439–450.
Karanth, K.U., Sunquist, M.E., 2000. Behavioral correlates of predation by tiger (Panthera tigris), leopard (Panthera pardus) and dhole (Cuon alpinus) in Nagarahole, India. J. Zool. (Lond.) 250, 255–265.
Kotwal, P.C., 1981. Tranquilization of Indian wild dog (Cuon alpinus). Cheetal 23, 34–35.
Kumaraguru, A., Saravanamuthu, A., Brinda, K., Asokan, S., 2011. Prey preference of large carnivores in Anamalai Tiger Reserve, India. Eur. J. Wildl. Res. 67, 627–637.
Morris, R.C., 1942. Widespread rabies among wild dogs on the Billigirirangan Hills (south India). J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 43, 100.
Muller-Using, D., 1975. The fennec. In: Grzimek, B. (Ed.), Grzimek’s Animal life Encyclopedia, 12. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, pp. 253–254.
Novikov, C.A., 1956. Carnivorous Mammals ofthe Fauna ofthe USSR. Israel Programme for Scientific Translation, pp. 283 pp.
Ramesh, T., 2010. Prey Selection and Food Habits of Large Carnivores: Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard Panthera pardus and Dhole Cuon alipinus in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu. Saurashtra University, Gujarat, India (Ph.D. thsesis).
Ramesh, T., Kalle, R., Sankar, K., Qureshi, Q., 2012. Dietary partitioning in sympatric large carnivores in a tropical forest of Western Ghats, India. Mammal Study 37, 313–321.
Roy, S.K., Pradhan, R.K., 1991. Trypanosomiasis in a captive wild dog (Cuon alpinus). International Seminar, Bangalore.
Selvan, K.M., Gopi, G.V., Lyngdoh, S., Habib, B., Hussain, S.A., 2013. Prey selection and food habits of three sympatric large carnivores in a tropical lowland forest of the Eastern Himalayan Biodiversity Hotspot. Mamm. Biol. 78, 296–303.
Sheldon, W.J., 1992. Wild Dogs: The Natural History of the Nondomestic Canidae. Academic Press, London.
Sosnovskii, I.P., 1967. Breeding the Red Dog or Dhole Cuon alpinus at Moscow Zoo. International Zoo Yearbook, pp. 120–122.
Thenius, E., 1954. On the origins ofthe dhole. OsterreichischerZeitschrift 5, 377–388.
Venkataraman, A.B., Arumugam, R., Sukumar, R., 1995. The foraging ecology of dhole (Cuon alpinus) in Mudumalai Sanctuary, southern India. J. Zool. (Lond). 237, 543–561.
Wang, S.W., MacDonald, D.W., 2009. Feeding habits and niche partitioning in a predator guild composed of tigers, leopards and dholes in atemperate ecosystem in central Bhutan. J. Zool. (Lond). 277, 275–283.
About this article
Cite this article
Selvan, K.M., Veeraswami, G.G. & Hussain, S.A. Dietary preference of the Asiatic wild dog (Cuon alpinus). Mamm Biol 78, 486–489 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mambio.2013.08.007
- Prey preference
- Asiatic wild dog
- Body mass
- Jacobs’ index