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Wolf packs on the increase in Germany

Chase Winter
December 2, 2019

The highest concentration of the protected species can be found in the state surrounding Berlin. But not only are there more wolf packs, the animal is also spreading to new areas in Germany.

Image: picture-alliance/prisma

The number of wolf packs in Germany has increased to 105, according to official numbers for 2019 released on Monday.

That compares to 77 wolf packs from the previous monitoring study conducted in 2017/18 by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation and a government wolf advising center.

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"The wolf population in Germany is increasing. The wolf territories continue to concentrate in the previously known areas stretching from eastern Saxony to the North Sea," said nature conservation agency president Beate Jessel.

In addition to the packs, each containing between three and 11 wolves, monitors identified 25 wolf pairs and 13 lone wolves. The previous study found 40 pairs and three lone wolves.

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In the early 2000s, about 150 years after being eradicated from Germany, wolves returned to eastern Germany's Lusatia region, which straddles the states of Brandenburg and Saxony.

They have since spread to several states, including Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Lower Saxony. For the first time since wolves were wiped out, monitors were able to identify lone territorial wolves in the states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein. Further territorial occurrences could be proven in Thuringia and Bavaria.

Meanwhile, the number of dead wolves found jumped from a year earlier from 61 to 99. More than half of the 83 killed from traffic were puppies. The number of wolves killed illegally was 8. 

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