The Indian wolf (Canis lupus pallipes) is a subspecies of Grey wolf. It travels in smaller packs and is less vocal than other variants of the Grey wolf, and has a reputation for being cunning. The Indian wolf is one of the most endangered populations of Grey wolves in the world.
The Indian wolf is medium in size and lacks a luxuriant winter coat due to it living in warmer conditions. Indian wolves have short, thin fur in summer, though the hair on the back remains long even in summer. It is suggested that it's an adaptation against solar radiation. The fur is generally greyish-red to reddish-white with grey tones. The hairs are grizzled with black, particularly on the back, which sports a dark V-shaped patch around the shoulders. The limbs are paler than the body, and the underparts are almost completely white. Pups are born sooty-brown, with a milk-white patch on the chest that fades with age.
Indian wolves are found in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Israel, Turkey, Iran, and Syria. They live in open grasslands, thorn forests, and scrublands.
The habits of these animals are similar to those of other Grey wolf subspecies. However, Indian wolves generally live in smaller packs rarely exceeding 6-8 individuals. They are also relatively less vocal and have rarely been known to howl. Indian wolves are territorial and hunt during the night. Each member of the pack will hunt for its own food, however, when targeting big prey such as antelopes, they prefer to hunt in pairs. One wolf usually is acting as a decoy while the other attacks from behind.
Indian wolves are monogamous and mate for life. They tend to breed from mid-October to late December. Females give birth to 5-6 pups in holes or ravines. The gestation period usually lasts around 62-75 days. The pups are born blind and their eyes open after 9-12 days of birth. The entire pack usually helps in caring for newborns and when pups are around 3 months old they are ready to leave the den. Indian wolves become reproductively mature after around 2 years of age.
Main threats to Indian wolves include habitat loss, unregulated hunting, and loss of prey. Even though these animals are protected they still are frequently killed due to being considered as livestock predators. Indian wolves also may attack humans and it is believed this is due to the lack of food in their natural environment.
The IUCN Red List and other sources do not provide the Indian wolf total population size. However, according to Wikipedia resource, there are estimates of its populations in the following areas: around 7,000 individuals in Turkey and around 2,000-3,000 individuals in India.
Feeding upon a wide variety of animal species, Indian wolves may control the numbers of their populations, thus benefiting different animal and plant species of their range.