Understanding Reproductive Strategies: Courtship and Copulation Behaviours of the Asiatic Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus) in Captivity

Krunal Trivedi, Soham Mukherjee

Affiliation: Sardar Patel Zoological Park, Gujarat, India; Life Science Education Trust, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Keywords: Asiatic Wild Dog, Cuon alpinus, Reproductive Biology, Captive Breeding

Categories: News and Views, Life Sciences

DOI: 10.17160/josha.11.3.986

Languages: English

This study offers an in-depth observation of the courtship and copulatory behaviors of the Asiatic wild dog (Cuon alpinus), also known as the dhole, within a captive environment at the Sardar Patel Zoological Park, Ekta Nagar, Gujarat. Characterized by unique vocalizations, distinct body postures, and specific initiation cues, the reproductive strategy of the dhole exhibits both complex communication and consensual mating processes. Our observations revealed notable behaviours such as mutual grooming, nuzzling, olfactory exploration, and specific tail positioning, which signify readiness and consent for mating. The study meticulously documents the mounting attempts, copulation frequency, duration, and post-copulatory affiliative behaviours, contributing valuable insights into the dhole’s reproductive behaviours. Through detailed analysis of these behaviours, this research aims to enhance our understanding of dhole reproduction, offering critical data to inform conservation strategies and captive breeding programs designed to support the survival of this endangered species. The birth of a litter of three male pups marks the successful culmination of the observed reproductive cycle, underscoring the potential of captive studies in aiding the conservation efforts for the Asiatic wild dog.

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