Wild Dogs Sighted In Odisha’s Debrigarh Sanctuary; Know More About This Schedule II Animal
Bargarh: Much to the excitement of conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts, a pair of wild dogs, often referred to as Dholes, made a rare appearance in Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary in Odisha’s Bargarh district last month after almost seven years.
“While a pair was sighted in periphery as confirmed by villagers, one was captured in camera traps installed at the sanctuary. There could be more wild dogs in the sanctuary and in the periphery areas,” Hirakud wildlife division DFO Anshu Pragyan Das said.
Wild dogs, designated as Schedule II animals, are rarely sighted in forests in the state. Animals under this list are accorded high protection with the prohibition on their trade.
Dholes compete with tigers and leopards for food in Debrigarh, where prey density is healthy with good population of Gaur or Indian Bison, Sambar, deer, wild boar and various other animals. “They move in packs to hunt prey animals, the ones tigers and leopards choose as their kill. The presence of Dhole is an indication that we have excellent prey base,” she said.
The DFO said that focussed grassland (meadow) management has helped attract herbivores towards the sanctuary, which has resulted in increasing the carnivore population.
An assessment conducted in June revealed the overall prey density in Debrigarh had gone up from 29 per sq km in 2022 to 46 animals. Regular salt licks and strict protection measures carried out along with human and technical surveillance has also helped to improve the prey density, officials said.
Notably, a male Royal Bengal Tiger, christened Deb-1, had walked into the sanctuary for the first time in five years in December 2022, raising hope of turning the western Odisha tiger habitat into a potential reserve. It is also home to one of the largest bat habitat in the world, the Indian flying fox bat island.