'Extinct' wolf rediscovered in BD
UNB, Dhaka :
A wolf was allegedly trapped and beaten to death after venturing into villages of Taltali upazila of Barguna recently. The poor animal came into conflict for killing the livestock.
Investigation revealed that the animal was a wolf. It was also confirmed by two of the leading canid specialists-Dr Yadvendradev V Jhala, head of the Department of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology at Wildlife Institute of India, and Dr Jan F Kamler, lead canid biologist at Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), University of Oxford.
Grey wolf (Canis lupus) is considered as the most primitive and among the rarest species of canine alive today with the remaining population in Europe, Asia and North America showing a more restricted distribution.
Indian grey wolf (Canis lupus pallipes) is a subspecies remaining in most of the Asian range from Israel to China and its population is decreasing.
It is considered that in Bangladesh, the grey wolf (locally called Nekrey bagh) had existed until the 1940s in the northwest and southwest. According to an old record in the 1940s, there was speculation of a wolf sighting in Noakhali, an area far away from its previous range which cannot be considered as solid, conclusive evidence.
According to IUCN Red List of Bangladesh, it has been recorded as one of the 11 mammalian species that have gone extinct regionally due to lack of documentation with certainty in almost over a century.
Experts assumed that what was left of this ancient animal had dwindled to extinction.
Luckily in 2017, a wolf came across a wildlife photographer in the Indian part of the Sundarbans which stirred the researcher community. It was the first documentation from the mangrove habitat and considered as a stray individual dispersed from the nearest population.