Fifteen wolves settled in Netherlands; 11 visited
Fifteen wolves have found territory in the Netherlands, including four pairs that may have cubs later this year. At least another eleven roaming wolves have passed through the country in recent months. Between mid-February and the end of April, two wolves were hit by cars and died, and a third may have been killed by a person, according to a quarterly report by BIJ12, the agency that handles wolf damage for the provinces.
Between mid-February and May, wolves attacked 54 farm animals. Most of the farm animals were killed. BIJ12 received 897 reports of wolves or traces of a wolf. In 313 cases, the wolf sighting was confirmed based on DNA or camera images.
Wolves have now been seen throughout the Netherlands except in South Holland. In Amersfoort, Heumen, Nunspeet, and Velp, a wolf was spotted walking through the built-up areas. These animals behaved calmly and were not aggressive, according to BIJ12. The more wolves in the Netherlands, the more the animals will walk through built-up areas. According to BIJ12, this is not a cause for concern.
The wolf pair on the Noord-Veluwe, the first to settle in the Netherlands, has since had cubs multiple times. There is now a large pack in the area. Some cubs have found a partner and split off to live in their own territory elsewhere in the Veluwe. Researchers are trying to establish the boundaries of their habitat by searching for traces. That research toned down in the spring to prevent disruption during the mating period, according to BIJ12. The organization doesn’t know if there are any wolf cubs at the moment.
Almost all of the wolves in the Netherlands come from Germany and Eastern Europe. Only one wolf came from Central Europe. That wolf was first in Noord-Brabant but seemed to have left at the start of the year. It has now reappeared in Limburg. The animal has been roaming around Germany, possibly looking for a mate.
At least eleven wolves have roamed the Netherlands for a shorter or longer period. How many of those animals are still in the Netherlands or ended up staying can only be determined once new tracks are found.