World Dhole Day Date in the current year: May 28, 2024

World Dhole Day World Dhole Day is celebrated annually on May 28. The Dhole Conservation Fund launched it in 2021 to raise awareness of an endangered canid species that can be found in Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The dhole (Cuon alpinus) is a member of the dog family native to Central, South, East and Southeast Asia. The species is known by many names: Asian wild dog, Asiatic wild dog, Indian wild dog, mountain wolf, red wold, red dog, and whistling dog.

Dholes are similar in build to coyotes or jackals but larger in size; they are sometimes described as combining the physical characteristics of the red fox and gray wolf. Dholes have a short, broad muzzle and a broad skull. Their fur can vary in color from a rusty red to a tawny brown; it’s lighter on the throat, chest, flanks, belly, and upper parts of the limbs.

Dholes are highly social animals that live in large groups consisting of about a dozen individuals (some dhole clans are actually larger and can consist of 40 and over animals). Unlike wolves, dholes do not howl. They communicate with one another by producing whistles that resemble the calls of red foxes (hence the name whistling wolf) and other sounds (chatterings, growls, screams, whines, and yapping cries). Dholes also have a complex body language.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the dhole as an endangered species. There are an estimated 2,500 adult dholes left in the wild, and their numbers are decreasing. Additionally, less than 300 dholes are kept in zoos around the world. According to WWF, the main threats faced by dholes include habitat fragmentation and loss, prey base depletion, competition with other species like leopards and tigers, persecution by humans, and diseases transferred from feral and domestic dogs such as canine parvovirus and rabies.

Unfortunately, dholes receive much less “publicity” than many other endangered species. There are much fewer dholes than snow leopards left, but we hear about snow leopard conservation efforts all the time, while dholes do not receive the attention they deserve. Although dholes are protected in some countries under wildlife protection laws, there are no captive breeding and reintroduction programs to increase their population.

World Dhole Day was created to raise funds for dhole conservation efforts and support conservation groups that are doing everything they can to protect these amazing canines from extinction. It is an initiative of the Dhole Conservation Fund, an organization dedicated to preventing the extinction of dholes by helping with funding local dhole conservation projects and raising global awareness of the plight of these amazing canines.

There are many ways to get involved with World Dhole Day. You can learn more about these amazing animals and share the facts you’ve learned with others, donate to the Dhole Conservation Fund or a dhole conservation project of your choice, and spread the word on social media with the hashtag #WorldDholeDay.

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International Observances, Ecological Observances


World Dhole Day, international observances, environmental observances, endangered species, dholes