The number of wolf packs has increased, eighteen wolf territories in the Czech Republic

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

According to the unique field monitoring of beasts throughout the Czech Republic, eighteen wolf territories were at least partially located in the Czech Republic in 2019. Sixteen of them in the border areas, some interfere in our country only slightly. In thirteen cases, these were packs, which in our conditions usually number 4-6 individuals. Compared to 2018 [1], the number of territories increased by two, the number of packs by three.

The Hnutí DUHA Olomouc (Friends of the Earth Czech Republic) NGO, Mendel University in Brno, the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, the Šumava National Park Administration and the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic participate in monitoring and research. The cross-border territories were consulted with the Polish association WILK, the OWAD project partners from Saxony and the Veterinary University of Vienna. Genetic analyzes were performed by Charles University, the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague and the CEwolf consortium.

The map is based on proven cases of wolf reproduction, documented by photo traps or genetic analysis, or on repeated credible findings of footprints and faeces, from which the presence of the territory was confirmed. The map does not include data on random observations of individual wolves, the temporary occurrence of which cannot be excluded in most of the Czech Republic due to the high mobility of the species. These data also need to be evaluated, but they are not relevant for determining the number of populated territories.

The data relate to the so-called wolf year 2018/2019, which covers the period from May 2018 to the end of April 2019, which better corresponds to the breeding cycle of wolves than the calendar year: wolves are usually born in April.

Wolves come to the Czech Republic most often from the north - from the Central European lowland population, whose center is in western Poland and Germany. So far, wolves from the Slovak and Polish Carpathians are spreading to Moravia and Silesia, where the number of territories has doubled compared to the previous year, from two to four. More detailed information on individual packs is available at www.mapa.selmy.cz, details on the Czech-Saxon border can be found on the OWAD project website.

Miroslav Kutal, an academic staff member at Mendel University in Brno and head of the Beast Program in the
Hnutí DUHA Olomouc (Friends of the Earth Czech Republic) NGO, comments on the situation: "The current trend of return of wolves, which we have observed in the Czech Republic in recent years, persists and copies the situation in other European countries. Today, wolves are found in all major states on the European mainland. For example, wolves from the Central European lowland population from Poland and Germany came to Denmark, the Netherlands or Belgium as well as to us.”

Pavel Hulva, an academic staff member at Charles University, responsible for genetic monitoring of the wolf, comments on the situation: "In recent years, my colleagues and students have worked hard to create an integrated system that combines field and laboratory data from us and neighboring countries to gain a more accurate picture of the processes taking place in wolf populations. We can also better study the impact of this key species on the regeneration of damaged Anthropocene ecosystems."

Aleš Vorel, academic worker at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, leader of the Czech-Saxon OWAD project, adds: "It is evident from the distribution of territories that wolves inhabit mainly more remote areas of the Czech border. Especially in mountainous and forested areas, the emergence of other territories can be expected in the upcoming years. The dominant source of other wolves will still be the Central European lowland population, so other individuals from Saxony and Poland will spread to our territory. Due to the high mobility of this large mammal and the larger number of individuals in our territory, we can also expect more cases of observation of individual migrating animals or cases of collisions with vehicles."

František Pelc, Director of the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic, adds: "The wolf is gradually spreading to new areas and can cause damage to unsecured livestock herds. That is why we have prepared a Wolf Management Program, the aim of which is to set up such measures in the landscape that will minimize these damages and conflicts. It includes, for example, the simplification of the system for the payment of compensation and the inclusion of other costs, as well as the available financial support to ensure preventive measures. These can significantly prevent wolf attacks."

Comment:
[1] Sixteen wolf territories in the Czech Republic

 

Contacts:
Miroslav Kutal, expert on large carnivores of the Hnutí DUHA Olomouc (Friends of the Earth Czech Republic) NGO and academic staff member of the Institute of Forest Ecology of Mendel University in Brno: 728 832 889, miroslav.kutal@hnutiduha.cz
Pavel Hulva, molecular ecologist and academic staff of Charles University: 608 676 877, hulva@natur.cuni.cz
Ales Vorel, ČZU & OWAD, 605 281 401, vorel@fzp.czu.cz
Karolína Šůlová, Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic, 724 102 406, karolina.sulova@nature.cz

Appendix: Map of inhabited wolf territories in the Czech Republic in 2018/2019
 

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