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Dogs in India are a problem for wildlife, study finds

16 / 04 / 2018, Mongabaycom News

Dogs may be a human’s best friend, but can be a deadly menace to wildlife, including endangered species, according to a survey in India, home to the world’s fourth-biggest population of dogs. The findings, reported in a new study published in Animal Conservation, highlighted dog attacks on some 80 species, including threatened ones dwindling in numbers, such as the golden langur (Trachypithecus geei), the great Indian bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) and the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). Nearly half of these attacks took place in or around protected areas, the survey found. India is home to about 60 million of the world’s estimated 1 billion dogs. In a bid to understand the impacts of free-ranging dogs on native wildlife in the country, which many experts claim is an “underreported” fact, Chandrima Home of the Bangalore-based Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) and colleagues zoomed in on dog-wildlife interactions in India through an online survey and scrutinized reports from national print media. “We found it is largely a problem across India, despite the limitations of an online survey,” Home told Mongabay-India. “Dogs were reported to attack nearly 80 species of wildlife and most of the attacks were on mammals, largely ungulates like cattle and small carnivores. In some places, respondents reported multiple attacks. Majority of these attacks were by free-ranging dogs unaccompanied by humans and in packs. Nearly half of the attacks led to the death of the animal.” A pack of dogs predating on a hog deer across the…

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