On the occurrence of the Himalayan Wolf Canis lupus, L. 1758 (Mammalia: Carnivora: Canidae) in the Gaurishankar Conservation Area, Nepal; its existence confirmed through sign and visual evidence in Rolwaling Valley

Main Article Content

Bishnu Prasad Pandey
Shankar Man Thami
Rabin Shrestha
Mukesh Kumar Chalise


The Himalayan Wolf Canis lupus L., a top predator of the Third Pole, is proposed to be of a distinct wolf lineage (C. himalayensis) relative to the Holarctic Grey Wolf as described by mtDNA analyses. A biodiversity survey organized by the Gaurishankar Conservation Area Project (GCAP) has captured images of wolves in three different regions, and the study team has observed wolf scats in five additional regions above the tree line in Rolwaling Valley. Further, interviews with local herders provided evidence of wolf depredation of livestock in the area. The Rolwaling Valley in the Gaurishankar Conservation Area was the study area which was divided into 12, 4 x 4 km (16 km2) grid cells, each supplied with one camera trap operated continuously from June to November 2019 (only 6 out of 12 cameras functioned for the duration of our study). Wolf detections were recorded by camera traps from Yalung Pass (4,956 m), Tsho-Rolpa glacial Lake (4,536 m) and the Dudhkunda ridgeline (5,091 m). The photo capture rate index (PCRI) for wolves was 0.71. Our study reports the first photographic evidence of the Himalayan Wolf in the Rolwaling Valley.

Article Details

How to Cite
Pandey, B.P., Thami, S.M., Shrestha, R. and Chalise, M.K. 2021. On the occurrence of the Himalayan Wolf Canis lupus, L. 1758 (Mammalia: Carnivora: Canidae) in the Gaurishankar Conservation Area, Nepal; its existence confirmed through sign and visual evidence in Rolwaling Valley. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 13, 8 (Jul. 2021), 18967–18974. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.6216.13.8.18967-18974.


Ale, S.B., K. Thapa, R. Jackson & D. Smith (2010). The fate of snow leopards in and around Mt. Everest. IUCN SSC, Cat Specialist Group. CAT News (N°53 Autumn 2010) http://www.catsg.org/index.php?id=188

Aggarwal, R.K., T. Kivisild, J. Ramadevi & L. Singh (2007). Mitochondrial DNA coding region sequences support thephylogenetic distinction of two Indian wolf species. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 45: 163–172. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0469.2006.00400.x

Ancrenaz, M., A.J. Hearn, J. Ross, R. Sollmann & A. Wilting (2012). Handbook of Wildlife Monitoring using Camera-traps. Bornean Biodiversity & Ecosystems Conservation Programme Phase II (BBEC II) in Sabah, Malaysia Secretariat.

Bajimaya, S. (2000). Snow Leopard Manual; Field study techniques for the Kingdom of Nepal (ED. R.M. Jackson and K. Froede. Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), Kathmandu, Nepal.

Bajracharya, S.B., G. Basnet, F. Kharel, K.B. Shah, H.S. Baral & R. Charmakar (2011). Gaurishankar Conservation Area; A Treasure House of Himalayan Bidodiversity. National Trust for Nature Conservation. Lalitpur, Nepal.

Bhattacharya, T. & S. Sathyakumar (2010). Sighting of Tibetan wolf Canis lupus chankoin the Greater Himalayan range of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Uttarakhand, India; a new record. Journal of Threatened Taxa 2(12): 1345–1348. https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o2423.1345-8

Boitani, L., M. Phillips & Y. Jhala (2018). Canis lupus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T3746A119623865. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T3746A119623865.en

Chalise, M.K. (2016). Nepal’s Wildlife (नेपालका वन्यजन्तु) Part 4. Nepal Biodiversity Research Society (NEBORS), Lalitpur, Nepal.

Chetri, M., Y.V. Jhala, S.R. Jnawali, N. Subedi, M. Dhakal & B. Yumnam (2016). Ancient Himalayan wolf (Canis lupus chanko) lineage in Upper Mustang of the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal (ED K. M. Helgen). ZooKeys 582: 143–156.

Chetri, M., M. Odden & P. Wegge (2017). Snow leopard and wolf; Food, habits and prey selection in the Central Himalayas, Nepal. Public Library of Science (PLOS) One 12(2).

CITES (2020). Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. UNEP. https;//cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php Accessed on 20 February 2020.

GCAP (2013). Gaurishankar Conservation Area Management Plan for 2013–2017. National Trust for Nature Conservation, Gaurishankar Conservation Area Project, Dolakha, Nepal.

GoN (2010). “Nepal Gazzette, Section 59, Number 38, Dated January 11, 2010.” Notice of Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation. Kathmandu: Government of Nepal.

GoN (2010). “Nepal Gazzette, Section 60, Number 14 Dated July 19, 2010.” Notice of Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation. Kathmandu: Government of Nepal.

Guil, G., S. Agudín, N. El-Khadir, M. ernandez-Olalla, J. Figueredo, F.G. Domínguez, P. Garzon, G. Gonzalez, J. Muñoz-Igualada, J. Oria & F. Silvestre (2010). Factors conditioning the camera-trapping efficiency for the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus). European Journal of Wildlife Research 56(4): 633–640.

Jackson, R.M., J.D. Roe, R. Wangchuk & D.O. Hunter (2005). “Camera-Trapping of Snow Leopards.” Snow Leopard Conservancy & Department of Wildlife Protection, Jammu & Kashmir State.

Jnawali, S.R., H.S. Baral, S. Lee, K.P. Acharya, G.P. Upadhyay, M. Pandey, R. Shrestha, D. Joshi, B.R. Lamichhane, J. Griffiths, A.P. Khatiwada, N. Subedi & R. Amin (2011). The Status of Nepal’s Mammals. The World Conservation Union (IUCN), Nepal.

Kelly, M.J. (2008). Design, evaluate, refine: camera trap studies for elusive species. Animal Conservation 11(3): 182–184.

Lahkar, D., M.F. Ahmed, R.H. Begum, S.K. Das, B.P. Lahkar, H.K. Sarma & A. Harihar (2018). Camera-trapping survey to assess diversity, distribution and photographic capture rate of terrestrial mammals in the aftermath of the ethnopolitical conflict in Manas national park, Assam, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(8): 12008-12017. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.4039.10.8.12008-12017

Lama, N.G. (2019). Interview by Bishnu Prasad Pandey. Interview about the mammalian diversity and culture in Rolwaling Valley.

Menon, V. (2003). A Field Guide to Indian Mammals. Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Limited, 164pp.

NLC (2072 VS). National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1973 (unofficial translation). Nepal Law Commission, Kathmandu, Nepal.

NLC (2074 VS). स्थानीय सरकार संचालन ऐन, २०७४ (translated as “Local Government Administration Act, 2074 VS”). Act No. 26 belonging to the Year 2074 (2016/17). Nepal Law Commission, Kathmandu.

Prater, S.H. (1971). The Book of Indian Animals. Twelfth reprint, 2005. Volume 3. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay.

Rovero, F. & A.R. Marshall (2009). Camera trapping photographic rate as an index of density in forest ungulates. Journal of Applied Ecology 46: 1011–1017. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01705.x

Sacherer, J. (2011). Rolwaling: A Sacred Buddhist Valley in Nepal. Sacredscapes and Pilgrimage Systems, by Rana P.B. Singh. Shubhi Publications, New Delhi.

Sharma, D.K., J.E. Maldonado, Y.V. Jhala & R.C. Fleischer (2004). Ancient wolf lineages in India. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Royal Society of London.

Sherpa, P.G. (2019). Interview by Bishnu Prasad Pandey. Interview about the mammalian diversity and culture in Rolwaling Valley.

Silveira, L., A.T.A. Jacomo, J. Alexandre & F. Diniz-Filho (2003). Camera trap, line transect census and track surveys: a comparative evaluation. Biological Conservation 114: 351–355.

Subba, S.A., A.K. Shrestha, K. Thapa, S. Malla, G.J. Thapa, S. Shrestha, S. Shrestha, N. Subedi, G.P. Bhattarai & R. Ottvall (2017). Distribution of Grey Wolves Canis lupus lupus in the Nepalese Himalaya: implications for conservation management. Oryx 51(3): 403–406. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605316000296

Werhahn, G., H. Senn, J. Kaden, J. Joshi, S. Bhattarai, N. Kusi, C. Sillero-Zubiri & D.W. Macdonald (2017). Phylogenetic evidence for the ancient Himalayan wolf: towards a clarification of its taxonomic status based on genetic sampling from western Nepal. Royal Society Open Science (rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org) Volume 4.

Werhahn, G., Y. Liu, Y. Meng, C. Cheng, Z. Lu, L. Atzeni, Z. Deng, S. Kun, X. Shao, Q. Lu, J. Joshi, A.M. Sherchan, D. Karmacharya, H.K. Chaudhary, N. Kusi, B. Weckworth, S. Kachel, T. Rosen, Z. Kubanychbekov, K. Karimov, J. Kaden, M. Ghazali, D.W. Macdonald, C. Sillero-Zubiri & H. Senn (2020). Himalayan wolf distribution and admixture based on multiple genetic markers. Journal of Biogeography 47: 1272–1285. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13824