First Camera Trap based Evidence of Grey Wolf Canis lupus in the Hanma National Nature Reserve, Inner Mongolia, China

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As an apex predator, the grey wolf (Canis lupus) is an ecologically important species. It is considered an ecologically important species due to its position as an apex predator. Grey wolves survive in a wide range of habitats including deserts, steppe, tundra, shrubs, coniferous and deciduous forests. Grey wolves have a cosmopolitan distribution, mostly found in the northern hemisphere. Due to historical and continued persecution; and reduced prey populations, its current range is restricted to remote areas. Thanks to conservation initiatives, grey wolves are beginning to reclaim parts of its historical distribution, currently listed as Least Concern by the IUCN. During a two year camera-trapping survey, we obtained the first photographic detection of grey wolves in Hanma National Nature Reserve, China. We deployed 113 camera traps spaced at least 1km apart, which ran for 27,607 trap nights. On October 11th 2017 at 16:40, a camera located in the coniferous forest detected two adult grey wolves. Thus, we report the first photographic detection of grey wolves in HNNR. We emphasize the need for more research to further determine the true distribution of grey wolves in China and suggest that wildlife managers can use the same conservation strategies applied in HNNR to other areas in order to assist grey wolf recovery.

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