• Germany's news in English
 

Wolves 'dine on deer, shun sheep'

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

“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)

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
Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'
Sudeten Germans practising traditional dance at a gathering in 2014. Photo: DPA

Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'

The Sudeten German Homeland Association has given up its claim to the group's former home in parts of the Czech Republic, quieting one of the final echoes of the Second World War. READ  

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan
Families Minister Manuela Schwesig. Photo: DPA

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan

Families Minister Manuela Schwesig confirmed on Sunday that she wants a new law allowing women to compare their wages with men doing similar work, provoking angry reactions from employers. READ  

Police wind down Bremen terror response
Heavily-armed police on patrol outside Bremen cathedral. Photo: DPA

Police wind down Bremen terror response

Police in Bremen said that the risk of a terrorist attack had been reduced in the city after they arrested two suspected arms dealers. The city remains under high alert, with special protection for the Jewish community. READ  

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone
Photo: DPA

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Sunday Greece's new hard-left government needs "a bit of time" but is committed to implementing necessary reforms to resolve its debt crisis. READ  

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo
Photo: DPA

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo

An estimated 375 people turned out for the Germany-based PEGIDA movement's first demonstration in Britain on Saturday, but were outnumbered by a 2,000-strong crowd of counter-protesters, police said. READ  

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote
Photo: DPA

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed Friday to "start working hard" to implement vital reforms in the stricken eurozone country, after Germany's parliament approved a four month extension to its bailout. READ  

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce
Photo: DPA

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared the killing of three government troops by pro Moscow rebels a "serious breach of the ceasefire", during a telephone call Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, her office said. READ  

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps
Trouble at the top. Photo: DPA

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps

Germany's highest civil court ruled in favour of a man who swapped the carpet in his new apartment for parquet flooring, incurring the wrath of the retired couple who lived below him over his loud footsteps. READ  

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday
Photo: DPA

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday

Teachers all over the country are expected to stike starting Monday, German education trade union GEW said, after negotiations with the wage commission of the federal states (TdL) failed to achieve results. READ  

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes
Andre Shepherd at the European Court of Justice in June 2014. Photo: DPA

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes

American soldier Andre Shepherd, who applied for asylum in Germany as a conscientious objector against the war in Iraq after going AWOL from his unit, saw a judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) go against him on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

3,157
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd