Gujarat's wolf population faces alarming decline, only 150 left
Ahmedabad, May 23 (IANS) After Gujarat's first census of wolves, that was conducted on May 8, the Forest department came up with the data that only 150 wolves exist in the state.
Currently, there are 10 wolves in the Little Rann of Kutch, 30 in the Velavadar sanctuary, Bhavnagar, and 30 in the Gir sanctuary.
IANS contacted Gujarat Forest Minister Mulubhai Bera but he was not available for a quote. There was only one wolf sighted in the wild ass habitats of the Little Rann of Kutch and Greater Rann of Kutch in 2020. This was the first time a wolf sighting was documented.
According to the first comprehensive pan-India survey of wolves, in 2018-19, the population of wolves in India was estimated to be 3,100 - Gujarat's wolf population was estimated to be 494, the third highest after Madhya Pradesh (772) and Rajasthan (532).
The study underlined Saurashtra, Kutch and north Gujarat regions as prime wolf habitats. One of the main factors contributing to the decreasing wolf population is the loss of their natural habitat due to human activities, such as deforestation and urbanisation.
A paper on The Status and Conservation of the Wolf in Gujarat and Rajasthan, India by Yadvendradev Jhala and Robert Giles recommended things for a wolf conservation strategy, it includes: encouraging public support and education, enforcing legal protection, paying compensation for wolf-killed livestock, conducting surveys of wolf populations and research on the dynamics of select populations, protecting breeding habitats, and eradicating feral dogs from wolf conservation areas.