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European wolf population in the Czech republic

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by Jana, 9 Oct 2016.

  1. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    Once locally extinct European Wolf is slowly regaining its reign over Central Europe, including Czech republic.

    Current situation:

    1 breeding pack with 4 cubs confirmed by camera traps around town Doksy, in northern central Bohemia.
    1 breeding pack with 2 cubs confirmed by camera traps around town Broumov, near Polish border.

    Wolf observations and tracks were identified within practically all mountain ranges on Czech borders with Germany, Poland and Slovakia this year. They are either lone young animals wandering, or packs livinging abroad but visiting occasionally our country. Local authorities had to pay record amount for domestic animals killed by wolves.

    Considering steady growth of observations of wandering animals in search of new teritory, Czech population is expected to increase significantly in near years. We will be wolf land again.
     
  2. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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  3. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Great to hear that the wolf is coming back in yet another European country ! Thanks for informing us Jana !
     
  4. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    Opinions are divided. Hunters dislike them and illegally shoot them - wolves are luckily very prolific breeders and can survive quite a lot of poaching. Animal farmers are half and half. General public opinion is cautiously positive I would say. Returning wolves don´t create any hystery, common people don´t worry about safety. If anything, wolves bring a little bit of exotic/adventurous feeling to hiking in countryside which is very popular activity here.

    We already have lynxes back in our country and people got used to share space with top predators. And Slovakia (most popular tourist target for Czechs) has sizable populations of both wolves and bears, especially around favourite tourist destinations in Tatra/Fatra mountains.
     
  5. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    That's great to hear.

    Appart from wolves in Czech Republic,

    Here the situation in the R. of Macedonia was that few years ago, the wolves were protected species, but seemingly they caused damage to lifestock on many occasions and the protection status was withdrawn; Even once was a practice to subsidy the hunting of wolfes, for aproximately 50 euros/per killed wolf; I don't know for such current practice. However I disagree with withdrawn of the protection status, of these Southeast European wolf populations, known as Bosnian grey wolf as separated entity from the other populations in Europe, characterizing with more brown or amber fur colour.
    It is estimated that about 1,100 wolves live in R. Macedonia (and about 350 brown bears). Once I hoped that some wolves will be relocated to other parts of Europe (like in Sweden), but that seems immposible due to little differences of these wolves here, not to call them subspecies but sepparated population.
     
  6. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Bosnian grey wolf are a subspecies of the Eurasian wolf Canis lupus. For good purposes, if any reintroduction might be contemplated, it would have to be one of the neighbouring countries with few or no wolves left.

    BTW: the news from the Czech Republic is encouraging. I assume that the monitored packs may be just the "Tip of the Iceberg" as Jana indicated lone / vagrant wolves use other parts of the Czech Republic occasionally.

    I would expect a similar time frame for reclaiming territories inside CZR as has happened in Germany. There is enough prey base, primarily roe deer and boar, in the CZR to enable a sustainable wolf population to exist and sufficient habitat and wild countryside to allow them the privacy they require (similar to lynx and wild cat).

    I would think both the Doksy pack and the Broumov pack from are probably from the same expanding eastern Germany / Western Poland group.

    Jana, since when have both these packs been confirmed in CZR? Has any genetic typing been done on which population they belong to?
     
    Last edited: 10 Oct 2016
  7. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    The Doksy pack got their first documented cubs in 2014. Genetic analysis showed both parent animals came from lowland Germany/Poland.

    Boumov pack is newly established and cubs were observed only few weeks ago. Genetic tests are running. It is 99% sure they come also from lowland Geermany/Poland.
     
  8. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    Good news: a pack is forming in Šumava mountains on border between Czech republic and Bavaria. Photos and DNA tests prove a pair of wolves (from German/Polish population) met each other few weeks ago, move together and keep their territorium. We migth get cubs from them this spring!
     
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  9. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Genetic testing also showed that wolves in Europe are surprisingly mobile. Breeding population in Germany has immigrants from both Eastern Europe and Italy, and there are many first-level relatives (siblings or parents-offspring) between Western and Eastern Europe.
     
  10. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    Is there much pressure on pack leaders to reduce immigration from Eastern Europe? I imagine they are taking all the best deer hunting opportunities from honest, hardworking German wolves....
     
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  11. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Central Europe is 95% farmland and forests where wolves can live are like little islands tens or hundreds of kilometers apart. It is amazing how wolves can actually find them in a sea of fields and towns.
     
  12. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    Different wolf populations have different life strategies and habitat requirements.

    Lowland Polish/German wolves are smaller, lean oportunistic animals that prefer open fields, swamps and light woods. They avoid mountains. They burrow deep dens for their pups and have large litters, sometimes up to 12. They like smaller pray like roe deer, small boars, mouflons etc. They got used to people and villages nearby.

    Carpathian Slovak wolves are large, conservative animals that prefer mountains and deep forests, they won´t spend much time in open space. They don´t burrow any dens for pups. Their litters are small and usually only 1, sometimes 2 youngs from each litter survive till winter. They love red deer, boars and beavers. They are sensitive to human disturbance.
     
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  13. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Interesting comparisons and contrasts between the Wolves from these different areas and habitats. But don't all Wolves dig burrows/dens to have their pups in? I thought it was an innate part of their breeding biology. Where do the Carpathian wolves have their young?
     
  14. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    Slovak wolves (I don´t know about wolves from other parts of Carpathians) have their youngs between roots of fallen old trees, or in cracks between rocks or just on the ground in thick vegetation. They don´t dig burrows, they don´t use caves that are numerous in some areas, they don´t use dens built by bears.
     
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  15. Yassa

    Yassa Well-Known Member

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    That`s not true. Germany for example has a lot of forest, around 32 % of the country! These forests are all managed forests, they are neither old-grown nor untouched and people are never far, but they are full of wild boar and deer. Good condition for wolves as long as they can live with the proximity of humans, which they obviously can. Their reproductive sucess is stellar and the population is growing strongly, despite the loss of animals due to traffic and poaching.
     
  16. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    Third confirmed breeding pack:

    The wolf pair in Šumava/Bayerischer Wald national park has 3 cubs! Because their teritory lies at both sides of the border, I count them as both Bavarian and Czech.

    On the other hand, there is still no definite proof of cubs with wolves living in south of Krušné Hory/Erzgebirge, near border with Saxony. Tracking in last winter showed presence of at least 3 wolves, we just have to wait.
     
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