In a first, wildlife scientists have collared a dhole, the Indian wild dog, with a satellite transmitter to study the habits of the endangered species.

With less than 2,500 individuals surviving in the wild globally, the dhole is already extinct in about 10 Asian countries.

It took a team of scientists from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) over 10 days to to track down a pack of 14 dholes in Bishanpura meadow in the Mukki range of the Kanha National Park. The team tranquilised an adult female, tested its health and fixed a tracking collar around its neck as the rest of pack cautiously observed from a distance.

“We don’t know a lot of aspects of their ecology, which makes conserving dholes far more difficult than tigers,” said Y.V. Jhala, senior scientist at WII.

Conservation ecologists believe the renewed efforts can help protect dholes.

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