A wolf in Dorverden, Lower Saxony (archive image)
Photo: Morris MacMatzen / Getty Images
The number of wolves living in the wild has continued to rise in Germany.
In the study period 2020/2021, the authorities in the federal states counted a total of 157 packs, as the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) announced.
That was 26 packs more than in the comparison period 2019/2020 with 131 wolf packs.
At least 403 adult wolves lived in the areas.
In addition to the packs, 27 wolf pairs and 19 sedentary solitary animals were confirmed nationwide.
The number of wolf pairs was halved, the number of individual animals was higher than that of the previous observation period.
At that time, 45 pairs and nine loyal individual wolves were registered.
The majority of wolves still live in a wide strip from Saxony in a north-westerly direction via Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania to Lower Saxony.
Further wolf territories have been found in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia.
Most wolf packs lived in Brandenburg (49) during the observation period between May 2020 and April 2021, followed by Lower Saxony (35) and Saxony (29).
The period coincides with a biological wolf year from the birth of the puppies to the end of the first year of life.
107 wolves died in traffic accidents
A total of 138 wolves were found dead during the investigation period.
Of these, 107 died in traffic accidents.
In 13 wolves the cause of death was natural and nine wolves were killed illegally.
The cause of death of five wolves was unclear, four wolves were deliberately killed as part of management measures.
Every year the BfN publishes a report on the wolf population in Germany, which is based on the figures reported by the competent authorities of the federal states.
The wolf, which was once exterminated in Germany, has been spreading again considerably for around 20 years, which has led to conflicts, especially with livestock owners.
The strictly protected animal may only be hunted or captured in exceptional cases with official approval.
For a long time there has been a political controversy over the question of whether the protection of predators should be weakened and hunting easier.
bam / AFP