Sunday, May 7, 2017

Denmark Has a Wolf Pack for the First Time in 200 Years

A pair of wolves caught on camera in West Jutland, Denmark.

For the first time, in 200 years, Denmark has confirmed that it has seen the return of wolves to its forests. Peter Sunde, a senior researcher at Aarhus University, stated that the animals were wiped out due to intense persecution as with several other European countries. He further added that before a male wolf was sighted wandering the Jutland peninsula in 2012, the last confirmed wolf sighting in Denmark was in 1813. Now, Sunde and Kent Olsen of the Aarhus Natural History Museum have confirmed the presence of not only other wolves, but a fully developed pack which means that the group has a female, as well. They pointed out that camera trap footage and DNA tests of scat samples  recovered by volunteers in the past half-year, which showed that four males and a female had been moving through the region. The researchers believe that the female, code-named GW675f, crossed into Jutland from Germany across a distance of about 340 miles last summer. Now, camera footage showing a pair of wolves indicates that she has also found a mate.

It is truly a big news that wolves have made a comeback to one of many, if not one of many, European countries where they had long disappeared. This would mean that the natural ecosystems of Denmark, especially where there are an abundance of herbivorous animals, would be put to balance as the wolves will attempt to keep the prey population in check. However, this recent discovery also means that there will be concerns related to human-wolf conflicts. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct awareness programs targeted at the general public and country folk in educating them about wolves and their roles in the wild. In addition, providing farmers with livestock guardian dogs would help in minimizing stock losses to the wolves. These steps would help wolves and people in Denmark to coexist peacefully.

View article and video here