The Wolves Are Coming

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The dead wolf on July 4 which was found in Luttelgeest, Noordoostpolder, was probably of Eastern European descent. The beast came almost certainly to the Netherlands from Eastern Czech Republic, Southern Poland or Slovakia. It is also likely that the wolf has lived for a while in the Netherlands.

The DNA of the animal corresponds for 96.5 percent to wolves from the Carpathians, in addition to 3 percent Italian DNA and 0.5 percent DNA of a dog.

It was assumed that the animal had German blood. The researchers, who are investigating the remains of the wolf, initially thought that the about 2 years old wolf came from a German wolf pack living over the border near Emmen. Young wolves leave their pack to find a new territory.

Noordoostpolder

The Carpathian wolf must have traveled about 900 kilometers in order to reach the Noordoostpolder. About a quarter of the wolves roam so far to find a new territory.

In the Noordoostpolder were, in addition to the wolf itself, also found six fresh droppings which most likely were from a wolf. The researchers found hair of a red deer hair and hair and bones of a fox in the droppings. In the Netherlands there is no other predator known that eats such large animals.

Although it is still not established that the droppings found belonged to the wolf found in Luttelgeest, the droppings indicate that a wolf has been wandering around the area of Luttelgeest. Only when its DNA can be extracted from the droppings, it will be clear that the droppings are of the dead wolf found. This will be known later in August.

More wolves in Netherlands

Partnership WolvenInNederland expects that on short term more wolves will find their way to the Netherlands. Straying animals leave scent marks, other wolves will follow those markings. “So there is a track now leading to the Netherlands."

There are new wolf packs discovered in Germany, also near to the Dutch border. Some of the young wolves, of one or two years old, leave their pack to start their own group.

The surplus of deer and geese in Netherlands lures wolves, because both species are among the favorite snacks of the wolf.

Wolves Plan

A plan that will prepare the Netherlands for the arrival of wolves, will appear earlier than planned. The plan of the research institute AlterraWageningenUniversity will be presented no later than November 1. This was decided because of the discovery of the dead wolf at Luttelgeest and the first results of the investigation into the origin of the animal.

The wolves plan is commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Association of Provincial Authorities (IPO) and the Wildlife Fund. Besides scientists, also others like  conservationists and farmers work on this plan.

The wolves plan provides information on dealing with the animal, but also deals with claim settlements. Who pays for instance the cost of a sheep eaten and what compensation will a region get where tourists stay away for fear of the wolf?

The researchers were already working on the wolf plan before the wolf was found last month. It is intended that the plan forms the basis for new policy and new legislation.

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