Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dholes of Kanha !

Dholes are among my top favourite predators in the world ! There are so intelligent, good looking and charismatic...almost always up to some action !

I came across this beautiful pack one summer morning in Mukki. We first saw them sitting on the track..there were 15 of them...with 7-8 sub-adults, which were so cute and shy!!


This Alpha male came up very close to us..stretched it's body and muscles...before setting off for a hunt...


Just look at it's beautiful brick-red coloured coat..with a lot of white...in the lovely early morning light...I did not notice so much white in the Dholes of Nagarahole-Bandipur, which is one good habitat for them.


They set off on a hunt ! In fact, we later saw the adults giving a high-speed chase and corner a Chital Stag...the actual kill we could not see as they moved into an area behind some rocks and bush on the edge of a meadow. Sadly, these amazing predators are getting increasingly rare..Kanha used to have a good population...now we do not see them often.



9 comments:

Malabaricus said...

Absolutely amazing pictures. It has been great moments to see them in abundance this season at Kabini too :)

Sarath C R said...

Wow..you are so lucky to see them in 'abundance' in Kabini!!

Gurudeep Ramakrishna said...

Glad to see you posting more reqularly Sarath...................just one question to you though. You talk about the prominent white mane on the Dholes and the same being lesser in their southern counterparts.

Dholes have been my favourite predators too. I have had several opportunities to observe them down south. I have noticed that the white mane is very prominent among the Alpha males of the pack and at times in the alpha females too. This I conclude after having encountered several packs across Bandipur(3), Nagarhole(4) and BR Hill(1) reserves over the last 2 years. Does this mean anything at all?

Could it be possible that their rank in the pecking order determines the growth of mane? or simply the fact that that are well fed has anything to do with it?

Gurudeep Ramakrishna said...

Glad to see you posting more reqularly Sarath...................just one question to you though. You talk about the prominent white mane on the Dholes and the same being lesser in their southern counterparts.

Dholes have been my favourite predators too. I have had several opportunities to observe them down south. I have noticed that the white mane is very prominent among the Alpha males of the pack and at times in the alpha females too. This I conclude after having encountered several packs across Bandipur(3), Nagarhole(4) and BR Hill(1) reserves over the last 2 years. Does this mean anything at all?

Could it be possible that their rank in the pecking order determines the growth of mane? or simply the fact that that are well fed has anything to do with it?

Sarath C R said...

Hi Gurudeep,
Thanks for your comments.Firstly,the wgite cannot be called as a 'mane',i think.It is more in the 'chest'and on the 'throat'area. You made some good observations and i am not sure if it is more prominenet in the Alpha male and females. I will try to consult some experts and get back to you.

Malabaricus said...

About the White patch you are talking about and what Gurudeep mentions could be right, after winter these Breeding couple get their white puffed winter shed coat.
As Sharath says, southern Dholes may not be having a prominent and evidently white chest as in Kanha Dholes.

Sarath C R said...

Vineet..thanks..i just got back from Nagarahole..and i saw a pack of 7 Dhole..and none of them had the white on their coats. Maybe it's seasonal?

Gurudeep Ramakrishna said...

Sarath, thanks for your thoughts, maybe it is seasonal.
But here is an image that led me to my question:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gurudeep-ramakrishna/4088343817/in/set-72157622641823111/

Notice the large guy with that prominent mane, he was the Alfa male and the one next to him to the right is the alfa female: or so I think. She was the next in command while I observed them unfold a whole hunt at a waterhole in Bandipur last year.

claire Oelrichs said...

hi sarath
how are you? you seem in good form from your blog! great sightings. I am doing 2 BIG5 tours Indonesia next year with Discovery Steppes tours - exciting. I wish to send you a report and news from Diki and the boys. they think you are too important to have time for them. I am sure that is not your intention.
My son is volunteering in India for 3 months from November. I hope to visit for 2 weeks in January. can we meet up?
best wishes from Australia, Claire