Indian wolves are generally smaller than European wolves, being 3 ft (91 cm) in length and 26 in (66 cm) high at the shoulder, while the tail is 16 to 18 in (41 to 46 cm) long. The pelage is shorter than that of northern wolves, and has little to no underfur.Fur colour ranges from greyish red to reddish white with black tips. The dark V shaped stripe over the shoulders is much more pronounced than in northern wolves. The underparts and legs are more or less white.Indian wolves, like Arabian wolves, have short, thin fur in summer, though the hair on their back remains long even in summer. It is thought that this is an adaptation against solar radiation. The winter coat is long, though not as long as northern subspecies.The contour hairs on the shoulder measure 50–85 mm in length, 35–65 mm on the flanks. For a long time, it was believed that the Indian Wolf was a gray wolf subspecies and was recognized as theCanis lupus pallipes, the same as the Iranian Wolf. However, recent genetic research suggests that the Indian Wolf has not cross-bred with any other subspecies in over 400,000 years which would make it a separate species of it's own, the Canis indicaBecause of its smaller size
It is found mainly in the Indian states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.Its territories range from 100 to 150 square miles.The Indian Wolf is adapted to scrublands, grasslands, and semi-arid pastoral environments. Much of the Indian Wolf's habitat overlaps that of the Himalayan Wolf.The Canis lupus pallipes would then refer to the wolves from the Arabian peninsula, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, but not India.
The Indian Wolf can sometimes survive on smaller ungulates, rabbits, hares, and rodents it finds. The Indian Wolf is, therefore, often forced to prey on livestock.
However, much of the wildlife that the Indian Wolf used to prey on has been hunted to extinction by humans. This draws them closer to people, including unattended children which the wolves see as fair game.Although it is supposedly protected as an endangered species in India under schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Act of 1972, the Indian Wolf is still hunted because of its attacks on children and livestock. The greatest threat to the Indian Wolf's survival is persecution by poison, and habitat loss due to intensive agriculture, development, and industry. A study released in 2004 estimated between 2000 and 3000 Indian Wolves remaining in the wild.While their populations are stable or increasing in some countries, in others they may be endangered. C. l. pallipes has been featured in different roles in different west Asian cultures; treated as vermin or menace in some times and places, respected and protected in others.