• 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
Second World War still key to German identity
US army tanks roll into Cologne. Photo:DPA

Second World War still key to German identity

Seventy years after the end of the Second World War, Germans still feel that they deal with its legacy in everyday life, a survey published on Tuesday shows. READ  

Drugged teenager in high speed Munich chase
Photo: DPA

Drugged teenager in high speed Munich chase

Police in Munich reported on Monday that they had caught a 16-year-old who raced through the city at up to four times the speed limit, on drugs, in a car with stolen number plates – and without a valid driver's license. READ  

How NHS reform will cost Brit expats dear

How NHS reform will cost Brit expats dear

British people living in other European countries could find themselves forced to take out private health insurance due to a clampdown on expats using the country’s National Health Service (NHS).  READ  

Euro parliament leader warns of new shipwrecks
Refugees being picked up by a German freighter in January. Photo: DPA

Euro parliament leader warns of new shipwrecks

“If we don't act now, we'll experience more tragedies” like the one that killed 950 people off the Libyan coast last weekend, European Parliament president Martin Schulz warned on Tuesday. READ  

Arsonists attack Bundestag yet again
The Paul-Löbe Haus, where much parliamentary work is carried out. Photo: DPA.

Arsonists attack Bundestag yet again

Unknown attackers threw a Molotov cocktail at a Bundestag (German parliament) building early on Tuesday morning, the third time within five months. READ  

Train drivers' strike to hit Wednesday, Thursday
Train drivers' union (GDL) leader Claus Weselsky (l) on a picket line in March. Photo: DPA

Train drivers' strike to hit Wednesday, Thursday

Train drivers will return to the picket lines on Tuesday afternoon after negotiations with rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) collapsed on Friday. Passenger services will be hit on Wednesday and Thursday. READ  

Five things to know about weed in Germany
Photo: DPA

Five things to know about weed in Germany

The stoner holiday of 4/20 may not be as popular in Germany as in its homeland the United States, but weed is nonetheless a hot topic in Europe’s largest economy. For the hemp holiday on Monday, The Local shares five things you should know about weed in Germany. READ  

Migrant boat tragedy
Merkel: We must stop migrant traffickers
Refugees on the deck of an Italian navy ship in April 2014. Photo: DPA

Merkel: We must stop migrant traffickers

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday that "everything" would be done to prevent more migrants dying in the Mediterranean in their quest for a better life in Europe. READ  

Salafists giving kids martial arts lessons
Police arrest a terror suspect in Mönchengladbach in January. Photo: DPA

Salafists giving kids martial arts lessons

Members of a Salafist group in western Germany have been giving lessons in martial arts to local kids, police reports revealed on Monday. READ  

Holocaust survivors speak before Nazi trial
Two Holocaust survivors at the press conference in Lüneberg. Photo: DPA.

Holocaust survivors speak before Nazi trial

Holocaust survivors spoke at a press conference on Monday before the beginning of the trial of Oskar Gröning, a 93-year-old man who worked at Auschwitz concentration camp during the Second World War. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
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
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
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

7,165
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd