In twenty years, the wolf in Germany has grown from an extinct animal species to an animal with 128 packs and 35 wolf pairs. A spectacular growth, according to Glenn Lelieveld of the Wolvenmeldpunt of the Mammal Society.
The wolf first settled in Germany in 2000, after an absence of 130 years. Between May 1, 2019 and April 30, 2020, more than 160 wolf cubs were established in Germany.
“For a mammal of this size, that’s a huge increase,” said Lelieveld. Wolves only give birth once a year, limiting the speed at which they can expand their range.
It is striking in Germany that many adolescent wolves continue to settle in the northeast of Germany after they leave their pack.
“The density of wolf packs in the Saxony region has only increased in recent years,” says Lelieveld. “It is a nice habitat with many roe deer, boars and deer. The wolves are not easily deterred by people or other wolves in the neighborhood.”
‘The Dutch wolf really doesn’t stay alone in the Veluwe’
Due to the increase in the number of wolves in Germany, more and more wolves are also coming to the Netherlands. A wolf first settled in the Veluwe in 2018, there are now thirteen wolves in the Netherlands, one of which is a pair with young.
And it probably won’t stop with those thirteen wolves. “If the animals in the Netherlands develop in the same way as in Germany, we could have dozens of wolf territories here in twenty years’ time”, Lelieveld thinks.
The Dutch range of wolves is also likely to expand. “All provinces with higher sandy soils and afforestation in which can be sheltered are a possible territory for the wolf. Whether in Overijssel, Gelderland, Drenthe, Brabant or Flevoland.”