The Himalayan wolf is a canine of debated taxonomy. It is distinguished by its genetic markers, with mitochondrial DNA indicating that it is genetically basal to the Holarctic grey wolf, genetically the same wolf as the Tibetan wolf, and has an association with the African golden wolf . No striking morphological differences are seen between the wolves from the Himalayas and those from Tibet. The Himalayan wolf lineage can be found living in the Himalayas, the Tibetan Plateau, and the Central Asian highlands predominantly above 4,000 m in elevation because it has adapted to a low-oxygen environment, compared with other wolves that are found only at lower elevations. Some authors have proposed the reclassification of this lineage as a separate species. In 2019, a workshop hosted by the IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group noted that the Himalayan wolf's distribution included the Himalayan range and the Tibetan Plateau. The group recommends that this wolf lineage be known as the "Himalayan wolf" and classified as Canis lupus chanco until a genetic analysis of the holotypes is available. The Himalayan wolf lacks a proper morphological analysis. The wolves in India and Nepal are listed on CITES Appendix I as endangered due to international trade.
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