The wolf was thought to be ‘regionally extinct’ in the Netherlands
This week, the province of Drenthe announced that it wants to prepare for the likely re-introduction of the grey wolf. It seems that the province will have to hasten their plans, because it seems that the wolf is permanently settling in the province, reports RTV Drenthe.
Male wolf GW1261m seems to have now established its territory in Drenthe. There is just not enough DNA evidence to officially prove that it is the same wolf: an animal is only seen to be established when DNA tests show that the animal lives in an area for six months. GW1261m seems to be the first wolf in more than two centuries that has chosen Drenthe as its territory.
The most recent DNA of this male was found on March 27 in Veenhuizen, where he attacked three sheep. This is evident from the data from BIJ12 published today. BIJ12 handles the damage caused by wolves on behalf of the province.
No sustained six-month period has been demonstrated with DNA alone, but a similar-looking wolf has also wandered past wildlife cameras in Central Drenthe over the last year or so. Because those images are not hard evidence, there is no hard answer yet.
Image: the spread of the Canis Lupus family across Europe. Created by Mario Massone. Public realm.