The Dhole, Cuon alpinus, is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. This large, social canid, also called the Asiatic Wild Dog, once ranged throughout the Indian subcontinent, north into Korea, China and eastern Russia, and south through Malaysia and Indonesia (reaching as far as Java). However, their current range is greatly reduced and highly fragmented.
There is estimated to be less than 2500 dholes left in the wild. While hunting the species is legally prohibited, Dholes are viewed as a menace to humans and their livestock so are persecuted by trapping, shooting, and poisoning. The most prominent threat facing the species is the widespread loss of habitat and depletion of its main prey base (deer) by excessive hunting.
Dholes have been reported to occur in a number of protected areas throughout its disjunct distribution. The Dhole Conservation Project is working to gather more data on the species’ distribution and population status. Additional work is needed to understand the potential threat imposed by domestic or feral dogs as vectors for disease and pathogens.