Sumatran dhole

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Sumatran dhole
Sumatran dhole.jpg
Exhibit of Sumatran dhole
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Cuon
C. a. sumatrensis
Trinomial name
Cuon alpinus sumatrensis
(Hardwicke, 1821)

Cuon alpinus javanicus
(Desmarest, 1820)

The Sumatran dhole (Cuon alpinus sumatrensis syn. Cuon alpinus javanicus), also known as the Javan dhole or the Sumatran wild dog[2] is a possible subspecies of dhole native to the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java. As it is also distributed in the Malayan Peninsula, it is thus also known as the Malayan wild dog.[3]

Evolutionary history[edit]

Illustration by John Gerrard Keulemans (1890).

As of 2005, the origin of the Sumatran dhole is unclear, as it shows a greater relatedness to the Ussuri dhole rather than with dholes in nearby Malaysia. In the absence of further data, it is speculated that the dholes of Indonesia could have been introduced to the Sunda Islands by humans.[4]

Physical description[edit]

The Sumatran dhole is the smallest dhole subspecies. It has bright red fur. The Sumatran dhole lacks woolly underfur. Instead, it has a darker coarse and leaner fur, similar to the southernmost populations of Ussuri dholes in India and Indochina; however, it has more black on the back.[5]

Range and habitat[edit]

The Sumatran dhole is native to Sumatra, Java and peninsular Malaysia. Though their range is highly fragmented, Indonesian dholes are confirmed to live in multiple protected areas of Sumatra and Java.[1] In 2014, camera trap videos in the tropical forests of the Kerinci Seblat National Park in Sumatra revealed the continued presence of dholes in the area.[6] Dholes have been extirpated from most of their range in Malaysia, although they probably still persist in Taman Negara and Belum-Temengor. Dholes are completely extinct in Singapore.[1]

Sumatran dholes live in scrublands, grasslands, plains, tropical forests and rainforests.


Habitat loss and fragmentation is a major threat to Sumatran dholes living in protected areas in Indonesia, particularly those on Sumatra. Habitat loss is driven by several different factors, including logging, palm and rubber plantations, agriculture expansion, rural biomass extraction, livestock grazing and major infrastructure expansion.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Kamler, J.F., Songsasen, N., Jenks, K., Srivathsa, A., Sheng, L. & Kunkel, K. (2015). "Cuon alpinus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2015: e.T5953A72477893. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T5953A72477893.en. Retrieved 15 January 2018.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Charles Knight & Company (1845). The History of the Dog: Its Origin, Physical and Moral Characteristics, and Its Principal Varieties.
  3. ^ Lydekker, R. (1907). The game animals of India, Burma, Malaya, and Tibet. London: R. Ward Limited.
  4. ^ Iyengar, A.; Babu, V. N.; Hedges, S.; Venkataraman, A. B.; Maclean, N. & P. A. Morin (2005). "Phylogeography, genetic structure, and diversity in the dhole (Cuon alpinus)". Molecular Ecology. 14 (#8): 2281–2297. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2005.02582.x. PMID 15969714.
  5. ^ Mivart, G. (1890), Dogs, Jackals, Wolves and Foxes: A Monograph of the Canidæ, London : R.H. Porter : Dulau, pp. 177–88
  6. ^ "Sumatran secrets start to be revealed by high altitude camera trapping - Fauna & Flora International".