The Indian Wolf (Canis indica), also known as the Asiatic Wolf, is a mammal of the order Carnivora. It was originally believed to be a subspecies of the Grey Wolf, however it was later proved to be a unique species. It is distributed across the Indian states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
It is listed as endangered and even though it is protected, it is hunted due to the fact that it preys on livestock. The Indian Wolf is also found in Israel where it is legally protected and has the best hope for survival. The biggest danger to wolves in Israel is the local dogs that tend to interbreed with them and contaminate the genetic purity of the species.
The Indian Wolf has a very short, dense coat that is typically reddish, tawny, or buff colored. It reaches 27.6 to 37.4 inches in height, and typically weighs 39.5 to 59.5 pounds, making it smaller than the Gray Wolf. Breeding generally occurs after the rains in October. The Indian Wolf is adapted for life in the semi-arid and hot areas that they typically inhabit. Its relatively small size allows it to survive on the smaller ungulates, rabbits, hares, and rodents that roam its territory.
Though the Indian Wolf and the Indian Wild Dog have been portrayed as mortal enemies by author Rudyard Kipling in Red Dog, studies have shown that there is very little competition between the two species where they share common ground. The fact that the wolf inhabits open spaces and feeds primarily on rodents as a contrast to the dog’s habit of living in dense forests and hunting medium sized ungulates is enough to ensure peaceful coexistence.