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Diet Composition of Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) Varies Seasonally in Deosai National Park, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

Diet Composition of Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) Varies Seasonally in Deosai National Park, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

Tariq Mahmood1*, Shakeela Ismail1, Faraz Akrim2, Muhammad Farooq1, Nadeem Munawar1 and Muhammad Raza Khan1

1Department of Wildlife Management, PMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi 46300, Pakistan
2Zoology Department, University of Kotli, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan
 
* Corresponding author: tariqjanjua75@uaar.edu.pk

ABSTRACT

Two wolf species reported from Pakistan include the grey wolf (Canis lupus pallipes) and the Tibetan wolf (Canis lupus chanco). Limited studies have focused on grey wolf ecology in the country, therefore, scientific data on the species’ ecological parameters and conservation are scanty. The species is also facing persecution threat in response to depredation on livestock in many parts of the country. We investigated occurrence and diet composition of grey wolf in Deosai National Park, Pakistan to record how much proportion of its diet comprises of livestock, leading to human-wolf conflict. Field surveys were made on monthly basis from July 2018 to December 2019 for data collection. The distribution of the species was determined by surveying the potential habitats and recording its direct and indirect field signs (such as scats, pug marks, prey remains, hairs), while diet composition was investigated by using noninvasive technique of scat analysis. Results showed grey wolf being distributed at an elevation range of 3921 m to 4282 m above sea level (asl) in the park. Scat analysis showed 7 wild and 6 domestic prey species in its diet, with approximately 47 % contribution from livestock and 53 % from wild prey. Most frequently consumed domestic prey were donkey, yalk, goat and sheep, while among wild prey golden marmot (Marmota caudata), house mouse (Mus musculus), Palm Civet (Paguma larvata), Royel’s Pika (Ochotona roylei) and markhor (Capra falconeri) were frequently consumed. Winter diet of grey wolf contained more proportion of livestock (59%) compared to wild prey (41%) whereas its summer diet contained more proportion of wild prey (53%). The grey wolf was found as one of the major predators in the study area mainly attacking donkeys, cows, sheep, and goats.

 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

August

Vol. 54, Iss. 4, Pages 1501-2001

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