• Germany edition
 
Wolves 'dine on deer, shun sheep'
Lamb? no thanks, we'll take the venison. Photo: DPA

Wolves 'dine on deer, shun sheep'

Published: 13 Mar 2012 07:00 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Mar 2012 07:00 GMT+01:00

Wolves which have resettled in Germany are rarely hunting sheep, instead eating wild dinners of deer and boar, according to scientists who have been studying their poo.

“The eating habits of wolves are the biggest point of conflict linked to their resettlement in Germany," said Hermann Ansorger, who led the team of wolf-poo testers. "That led us to examine the feeding behaviour of the wolves which migrated to the Lausitz area a good decade ago.”

He and the team from the zoology department of the Senckenberg Research Institute in Görlitz, Saxony, examined more than 3,000 samples, looking for hair, fur, bones and teeth of wolf prey, he said in a statement.

Their research showed that more than 96 percent of wolves’ food was wild animals, with roe deer top of the menu, accounting for 55.3 percent.

“Less than one percent of the analysed prey animals were farm animals,” said Ansorge. “As long as sheep and co are well protected and there is enough choice among the wild animals, wolves do not take the risk of being confronted with electric fences or sheepdogs.”

Other animals popular with local wolves were red deer, which accounted for 20.8 percent, and wild boar which were 17.7 percent. Rabbits were not favoured, comprising just under three percent, according to results published in the Mammalian Biology journal.

Ansorge said it was also interesting to see how the wolves had altered their hunting habits as they migrated to Germany from Poland. He said Polish wolves largely hunted red deer, and this was continued during the first few years that the wolves were in Germany.

But the German woods are less roomy than those in Poland, and are interrupted by pathways and fields – giving rise to more roe deer and wild boar. The wolves needed less than two generations to adapt to this new landscape, and quickly changed their hunting habits to focus on roe deer and wild boar, said Ansorge.

Wolves were protected in Germany in 1990, but it took more than a decade before they settled on German soil and had pups. Now there are thought to be nine families in the Lausitz areas, including around 34 young animals.

“The potential for conflict between people and wolves is very low. There is no reason for further resettlement by wolves,” said Ansorge.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

14:32 March 13, 2012 by zeddriver
Hey! I have an idea. Since we the people can't seem to vote out corrupt politicians. I wonder if we could train the wolves to dine on corrupt politicians. Thus saving the cute little animals and the citizens. and feeding the wolf all at the same time. Win Win
Today's headlines
Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal
Ingolf Deubel in court on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal

A former state finance minister was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison on Wednesday, having been found guilty of embezzling money in the scandal around the failed sale of the Nürburgring Formula One race track. READ () »

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment
A Bavarian worker works hard Photo: DPA

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment

Southern and central Bavaria have the lowest unemployment in the EU, according to figures released on Tuesday, with one business leader boasting the area has “de facto full employment”. READ () »

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare
Uli Hoeneß was jailed last month for tax evasion. Photo: DPA

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare

The number of German tax evaders who have self-declared to avoid prosecution trebled in the first quarter of 2014, figures published on Wednesday showed, with the rise put down to the "Uli Hoeneß effect". READ () »

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks
One of the WWII Russian tanks near the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks

The German government rejected on Wednesday a call by two newspapers to remove Russian tanks from a World War II memorial in central Berlin in protest against spiralling tensions in Ukraine. READ () »

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail
A Ukrainian policeman at a checkpoint in the eastern city of Kharkiv on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday that scheduled four-way talks on the Ukraine crisis must not fail, warning of "the threat of more dead and injured". READ () »

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station
Berlin's Olympic Stadium. Photo: DPA

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station

Berlin's Olympic stadium could become the world's biggest polling station if the Turkish community gets the go-ahead to vote there in Turkey’s general elections. READ () »

The Local List
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: DPA

Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German

From rolling wheels filled with burning hay down a hill, to waiting for a fox to bring eggs, The Local List this week looks at the nine best German Easter traditions. READ () »

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test
Horse? Photo: DPA

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test

Schoolchildren in western Germany came across horse meat while testing doner kebabs in a biology experiment. It comes a year after the horse meat scandal which showed much meat on sale in Europe had been mislabelled. READ () »

Private health insurance not worth it for workers
Photo: DPA

Private health insurance not worth it for workers

Thousands of employees paying into private health insurance in Germany get poor value for money, according to consumer experts - who recommend going private for just one group of workers. READ () »

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers
Free range? Photo: DPA

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers

UPDATE: A major producer of ethically certifified meat has admitted to defrauding thousands of customers for years by passing off conventional chicken as free range. But the brand said it took swift action to deal with the case. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Advertisement:
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,115
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd