Researchers are utilizing GPS collars to track movement patterns and population trends of wild dholes.
Little is known about dhole ecology as they’re extremely difficult to study. Outside of India, dholes remain primarily in pockets of remote areas in Southeast Asia and China. In these areas, they tend to occur in low densities in thick forests that cover mountainous or rugged terrain.
There is almost no quantitative information on Dhole population trends through their distribution. Population estimates of Dholes are not available for any country and the size of subpopulations of Dholes has not been reported anywhere. The only estimates of local Dhole densities come from a few protected areas in India.
In order to better understand territorial requirements for packs, researchers rely on GPS collaring of wild dholes. Understanding the dholes’ space helps in estimating the number of packs that live in protected areas. The collars are linked to satellites, giving scientists an exact location of each collared dhole. Collaring any wild carnivore is problematic but dholes may be among the trickiest.
Sources: (Durbin, Venkataraman, Hedges, & Duckworth, 2004; Hance, 2015; Kamler, et al., 2015)
Image: Pistol Peet