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Wolves likely to spread across Germany

The Local · 28 Oct 2011, 07:57

Published: 28 Oct 2011 07:57 GMT+02:00

It was 11 years ago that a pack was discovered in Germany again, after the species had been effectively exterminated in the middle of the 19th century. Their protected status in Poland and Germany means their return is “unstoppable” according to Beate Jessel, president of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN).

And having been restricted to the eastern and southern parts of the country, the wolves are starting to spread out, adapting to the way people have shaped the world.

A two-year study by the BfN involved fitting six wolves from the Lausitz area in Saxony, with GPS tracking devices to see how far and where the young animals went after leaving their packs.

“This is the first study in central Europe where the migration routes were followed by satellite, and the residency of wolves in their territory was investigated,” Jessel said in a ministry statement.

“They did not only cross rivers and Autobahns, but also felt comfortable in a variety of habitats – so long as they were left in peace.”

One young male wolf covered 1,550 kilometres in two months, heading east into Belarus, while another stayed with her family for two years. There were also great differences in territory then used – between 49 and 375 square kilometres – and not just woodlands, but also open land like fields. One adult female even dug several holes less than 500 metres from a heavily-used road, in which to raise her young.

“Wolves do not need wilderness, rather they can rapidly spread in our landscape and fit into the most varied habitats,” said Jessel.

“One should thus be prepared for the appearance of wolves across Germany, and use management plans to establish the most conflict-free relations between people and wolves as is possible.”

She told the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) that wolves have no desire to annoy humans.

“It loves living space in which it can retreat, where it has quiet,” she told WAZ.

But problems have already emerged, with reports of wolves killing sheep in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Bavaria – and wolves being killed in return.

At least 17 wolves have been killed on German roads since 2001, while hunters have also shot at least 13 wolves dead since 1990, although Jessel told WAZ that the numbers are probably under-reported.

“Hunters know that the animals are protected, that shooting them will be seen as a crime,” she said.

In the end, Jessel told the newspaper, education will be important as Germans learn to deal with wolves in their presence after a long absence.

Story continues below…

The wolf is not an evil beast but also not a cuddly toy, she emphasised.

“It’s a wild animal,” she said.

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

09:51 October 28, 2011 by ovalle3.14
Hide your kids! Hide your wives! And hide your husbands...
09:54 October 28, 2011 by freechoice
Get a dog!
10:04 October 28, 2011 by The-ex-pat
They crossed autobahns and rivers...........Wow, maybe they have spoken to some deer and hedgehogs, dam smart these wolves.
10:56 October 28, 2011 by zeddriver
'The wolf is not an evil beast but also not cuddly toy' 'It's a wild beast'

So. It's kinda like a politician. Marauding around the country in packs taking what they please.
11:18 October 28, 2011 by Frederic 53
This is rubbish to fit in wolves in our habitat.Only after we will see a backpack and the clothes of a child at a bus stop, without the child and this will happen sooner or later.

Then we will figure out that wolves are dangerous animals.
11:23 October 28, 2011 by GolfAlphaYankee
quote:(The wolf is not an evil beast but also not a cuddly toy)

the evil thing about wolfs is that they don´t kill only to feed but also for fun (or at least it looks like that for humans) ! if a wolf get into a farm he will kill all the sheep and not just one or two ! that's why farmers hate them so much ...
11:37 October 28, 2011 by storymann
I have seen this in my State in the USA.

Wolves are very adaptable and intelligent. The problem is that they can coexist in the same habitats as humans and become less fear full of them.They can and sometimes do become aggressive towards humans especially children.The first thing people noticed was the disappearance of their house cats and small dogs.

There was a fatal attack and death of a school teacher in Alaska recently. a quote from the Alaska State Police:

Our investigation points to wolves being the most likely culprit. It is the only predatory animal that is active in the area that we're aware of, and we also believe the wolves have been increasingly threatening to people in the area," said Megan Peters, spokeswoman for the Alaska State Troopers. "They've been getting too close, circling, making people fearful for their safety."

But

maybe the wolves here are more docile.
13:07 October 28, 2011 by biker hotel harz
I think the wolves were here first so I'd always give way to one :-)
16:13 October 28, 2011 by Gauleiter Brad
In the USA in the western states most notably we have seen coyotes come down into suburbs. Folks mistake them for abandoned dogs. Coyotes apparently attack and eat domestic cats or feral cats. How can any canine sneak up on a feline? It defies logic nicht wahr?
16:57 October 28, 2011 by zeddriver
@Gauleiter Brad

Not all domesticated cats are afraid of dogs. Particularly if a family has both a cat and a dog.

We had the same issue when I lived in South Dakota. But as well as coyotes we had to deal with mountain lions as well.
20:01 October 28, 2011 by farmy
As a dairy farmer who just had a 2 day old calf attacked by a coyote, I understand why the wolf was wiped out. If you let the animal wackos have their way, the wolves will kill your children and there will be nothing you can do about it.
20:36 October 28, 2011 by catjones
Little Red Riding Hood wasn't afraid....of her grandmother. I think the Three Pigs started all this fear-mongering.
22:30 October 28, 2011 by Englishted
farmy

more like barmy
23:22 October 28, 2011 by Gretl
I can't believe all the fear mongering here.

I come from Montana...like Alaska for wilderness, but the size of Germany. We have grizzley bears, black bears, cougars, wolves, coyotes, foxes, and let's not forget dangerous moose,bison, elk, deer, big horn sheep, etc, which have been known to gore and kick people.

As long as there is prey to eat like boar and deer, wolves will leave farms alone. Farmers who live in close proximity to wolf packs can invest in stock protection dogs like Great Pyrennes dogs. My mother is a breeder of Great Pyrs and uses them on her own farm. She has had many stories of success from people living on the suburban/wilderness interface. They protect children, too, but normally wolves aren't the problem, it's cougars that hang out near the bus stop or school playground.
00:41 October 29, 2011 by DoctorEconomy
So many great metaphors flying around here, so far I like the politician thing-o best.

But that comment about wolves being here first...ummmm, i don't think so. Personally I think that predators are inherently lazy, feeding on the thing that's easiest to get.

There had to be something to attract them. Whatever that was, was there first.
02:59 October 29, 2011 by reallybigdog
For the love of god...... run little red riding hood just run!!
09:38 October 29, 2011 by heyheyhey
All of the wolf fear mongers, please spare me the tears for the child missing from his backpack at the bus stop.

In reality, there are far too many humans. I hope the wolves get many of us murdering humans and way us for lunch.

The world needs many more wolves and far fewer humans.

Let's see........dd I hear that there are upwards of 8 BILLION of us humans?....How utterly disgusting.
11:16 October 29, 2011 by miacis
Haha..To all that like to spread hate and fear of wolves: I was in Romania, the country with the most wolves (+-3000) in Europe, the country were children act as sheperds, and told several people about peoples fear of wolves in western countries: they all responded in a similar way, they laughed and asked me if the westerners were also afraid of foxes...!
12:43 October 29, 2011 by zeddriver
@DoctorEconomy

Thank you. The sad truth is that politicians really do act like a wolf pack.

@heyheyhey

So then. Are you going to be the first volunteer to remove yourself from the gene pool in support of bettering mother earth? But I imagine that as an Earth First type. You would conceder yourself far to important. And therefor will no doubt volunteer someone else to stand in your place at the peoples gene pool reduction clinic.
17:50 October 29, 2011 by heyheyhey
@zed driver

Yes,I would be one of the first to volunteer to get out of the human gene pool so as to make way for more beautiful animals. There is nothing special about humans. We, unlike our animal relatives, have been incredibly destructive to this beautiful space we call earth. We have also polluted this planet with the sheer number of us.

Do not assume, Zeddriver, that you have the intellectual capacity to know who I am. That is beyond the scope of your small mind.

I would also like to tell you that I lived, for 16 years, with an entire family of wolf mixes.

There is room on this planet for the animals, IF, and only if, humans stop being so selfish.
20:17 October 29, 2011 by zeddriver
@heyheyhey

First, I didn't call you small minded or lacking in intelleigence. I simply asked you a question based on so many others that will say something along the line of what you said. Yet in the end always exempt them selves from the sacrifices that they demand that others make.

I asked a question and to your credit you answered. But then you went down that old left wing road of hurling insults. So then who really ends up looking like the small minded one.

As for the wolves. I have no issue with them. I've even had the good fortune to surprise a mountain lion while hiking in the black hills in South Dakota. I ended up

face to face with it. I'd say less than 100' ft away. Very cool. Wasn't nervous at all.

The key to a successful encounter is how one reacts or over reacts.
20:21 October 29, 2011 by farmy
@heyheyhey

You are picture perfect animal wacko I was talking about.
06:49 October 30, 2011 by heyheyhey
@farmy,

You are exactly the type of human who has destroyed the beauty of this planet. We do not need people like you who kill other living beings, or find it justifiable that other beautiful living creatures are destroyed simply because they are inconvenient. A coyote needs to live. To do so it must eat. Farmers, such as yourself need to understand that it is not alright to kill an animal simply because it needs to eat. All business people suffer losses, don't they? Do you tell the shop keeper to kill the children who steal his candy? Do you tell your priest or pastor to kill the local teenagers who vandalize the church? What is wrong with you, and others like you, is that you have little respect for the true nature of all creatures. You believe that no living being should dare to cause you to lose money or profit.

My extended family were farmers. I do know how you think. I did not grow up learning that all animals have value, or that it is wrong to kill them because it is convenient to do so. I grew up, like you, finding value in the animals that fed me and or were profitable. Yes, we had a dog and cat, but should that dog kill a farm animal the dog was killed.

I think it would be wise for you to try to think more deeply about life. You may discover things about yourself and those around you. I can certainly tell you that my experience has been that animals are far more compassionate than humans, and that animals have much to teach all of us about life, and LIVING.
21:52 October 30, 2011 by farmy
@heyheyhey

Thank you for confirming everything I said about you.
09:33 November 2, 2011 by heyheyhey
@farmy.........Thank You for showing so openly that you are a killing minded ass.
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