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Indian grey wolves becoming tolerant of Hyena presence in Bankura

Usually, the wolf and hyena are termed as ‘enemies’ of each other as they feed on the same herbivores. The species don’t share the same bowl at a time.

KANCHAN SIDDIQUI | Kolkata |

Lesser carnivores like Indian Grey Wolf and striped Hyena, commonly known as rival species, have reflected a tolerant behaviour at each other in the dry Bankura (vorth) patches they are occupying to survive on the significantly increasing herbivores, which has been revealed by the senior divisional forest officials during night patrolling in the jungle areas. “Recently, our DFO (north) clicked photographs of a fullgrown pair of Indian Grey Wolves while tracking elephant movements in Pidraboni jungle patch in Beliatore Range here,” said S Kuliyan Devial, chief conservator of forests (central) today. He said, “It’s a very good sign that such lesser carnivores are spotted that rather reflects a balanced growth of jungle’s ecosystem here.

We shall instal a number of trap cameras along the dry patch to help population estimate of the wolves in Bankura.” The neighbouring forest ranges like Saltora and Gangajalghati too have recorded sightings of the wolves in recent times. Davial said, “The neighbouring Purulia district is also having a good number of wolves and the animals in herds frequent to Saltora and Gangajalghati areas from time to time. Some pairs lodge here permanently. Now, we want to know the number of wolves in Bankura through a random sampling. Next week, we’re beginning the elephant census here and the job of planting the trap cameras will also be done side-byside.” Bankura-Purulia jungle areas also have recorded growth in the population of striped Hyena.

Usually, the wolf and hyena are termed as ‘enemies’ of each other as they feed on the same herbivores. The species don’t share the same bowl at a time. “We found both the species, which are known rivals showing tolerance at each other, which is strong evidence of land sharing among the species in the landscape,” said Dr Lalit Kumar Sharma, head of wildlife section of the Zoological Survey of India. The forest officials meanwhile are keen to go on further research on the niche overlap of the two species and unfold their biological connectivity, the officials said. In South Bengal districts like Bankura and Purulia, 189 observations were confirmed for wolves combining both 72 direct and 117 indirect observations in June, 2021. In case of hyena, there were 73 records, 27 direct and 46 indirect observations.