Wolves return to Netherlands after 140 years

Wolves return to Netherlands after 140 years

Most of the European countries hunted out wolves over a century ago. However, they have been gradually migrating their way back across the mainland of the continent.

Since 2015, wolves have been seen occasionally in the Netherlands. But this is surprising as it was thought previously that because they had temporarily crossed over Germany, they would return there subsequently.

In the Veluwe area of Netherlands, some ecologists belonging to the campaign groups Wolven and FreeNature have been keeping a track of two females, collecting their scat and wolf prints for identifying DNA.

Talking at the Costing the Earth program of BBC’s Radio, they said that their data confirmed that one of the females had stayed in the region for six continuous months and could now be considered as established.

A male wolf has also been sighted in the area and hence, a Dutch wolf pack can only be a few months away. Data regarding the second female is still being collected.

After coming back from Italy in the year 1992, wolf populations have grown immensely in France. Farmers of goats and sheep have reported a huge increase in attacks, a rough value of almost 12,000 incidents.

Farmers that have their measures of protection such as guard dogs or electric fences in place will be provided with compensation but they are still mad about the damage that has been caused to their flock.

The Berne Convention protects wolves and states that their killing is only allowed under some specific cases.

Presenter of costing the Earth, Tom Heap traveled all the way to Alpes de Haute Provence in order to meet with some of the affected farmers. The area has reportedly 22 wolf packs that are more than anywhere else and has suffered 700 attacks in the last year.

Mr. Merveille is glad that the wolves will remain in France; however, he also believes that the farmers must be permitted to kill them if they attack their livestock.

In Holland, Wolven has been working to prepare the people for the return of wolves to the country since 2008.