Grey Wolf in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan: Distribution, Abundance, and Persecution

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Questionnaire analysis and confirmatory field survey carried out in 2006 suggested 350-400 grey wolves Canis lupus distributed over some 35,000km2 of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, occurring at a density of 1.0-1./100km2 and distributed at similar density in all vegetation types. Group size ranged between one and six, with the majority of sightings (n = 185) consisting of lone wolves (55%) or pairs (18%). Average pack size decreased from 7.0 ± 3.0 (n = 13) prior to 1991 to 2.0 ± 0.33 (n = 21) by 2006, suggesting a decreased availability of large prey. Litter size ranged between one and nine (average 3.2 ± 0.29 young/litter) with modal numbers of 2 (31%) and 3 (31%). Some 66-87 wolves were killed during 2005-2006, mostly in winter using firearms, and in retaliation to attacks on livestock. Generally, residents reported little fear of wolves, and there were no reported cases of recent wolf attacks on human. Wolf pelts were available for Rs. 100-10,000 (US$ 1.5-150) in several markets.