Conservation implications for the Himalayan wolf Canis (lupus) himalayensis based on observations of packs and home sites in Nepal
Werhahn G., Kusi N., Sillero-Zubiri C., Macdonald DW.
Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2017 This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. We provide insights into pack composition and den site parameters of the Himalayan wolf Canis (lupus) himalayensis based on observations of free-ranging wolves in three study areas in Nepal. We combine this with a social survey of the local Buddhist communities regarding human–carnivore conflict, to draw inferences for conservation practice in the Nepalese Himalayas. We recorded eight wolf packs (with an average composition of two adults and three pups), and found five home sites in high-altitude shrubland patches within alpine grasslands at 4,270–4,940 m altitude. There was a spatial–temporal overlap of wolf home sites and livestock herding during spring and summer, which facilitated human–wolf conflict. The litters of three out of five wolf packs found in Dolpa during 2016 were killed by local people in the same year. In Nepal compensation is offered for depredation by snow leopards Panthera uncia, with associated lowering of negative attitudes, but not for depredation by wolves. We recommend the implementation of financial and educational conservation schemes for all conflict-causing carnivores across the Himalayan regions of Nepal.