background on the Dhole Working Group and the IUCN listing
Annapurna Conservation Area - We have been working on Dhole research and conservation especially in Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) Nepal and we were able to camera trap a single dhole individual in 2016, which was the first photographic evidence of dholes after their regional extinction from the mid-hill regions of the country. Subsequent camera trap surveys recorded 4 dholes in 2 different locations of the study area indicating pack formation. The herders and farmers of the area believe that there are 2 packs with 7-9 individuals per pack. Since the local community of the area know about the presence of the species, there always is a risk of conflict, as dholes in the past were responsible to depredate livestock in the region (one of the primary reasons of retaliatory killings using carcass poisoning and persecution). To address these issues, we have organized various conservation awareness activities in the community and schools (especially in Sikles and Tangting villages), and capacity building trainings for alternative income generation and to decrease dependency in forest and forest produces. Now, given the success of these programs, and as an organization dedicated to conserve dholes, we have challenges to expand our research to other significant areas as well as to continue monitoring the species, their pack formation, movement pattern and so forth in the current study sites as well as conservation education in other nearby villages.
Ramaroshan Wetland Complex - Recently, we have discovered another significant and potential area for our next research, 'Ramaroshan wetland complex', which is a mid-hill wetland complex in Achham district of far west Nepal. The area is virgin, with wetlands, grasslands and subtropical to temperate forests extending from 1401 m to 3792 m elevation range and the complex is locally known as 12 bunda 18 khanda (meaning: 12 lakes and 18 meadows). Indirect surveys conducted in the area indicated presence of both dhole packs and conflicts. Along with Dholes, the area is home to Musk Deer, Asiatic Black Bear and Leopards. Since a detailed assessment hasn't been carried out, we are developing a project aiming to assess the biodiversity of the whole complex and to aware locals on conservation issues. For research purpose, we are planning to conduct camera trap survey and bio-acoustic survey along with transect surveys.