Even though wolf sightings across Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland were common this spring, ecologists say that the odds of a wolf pack making Friesland part of their permanent territory are low.
Translation by Traci White
Hugh Jansman, an ecologist for the Wageningen Environmental Research unit Alterra, told the Leeuwarder Courant that it is very unlikely that wolves would settle down in Friesland.
During a speech at Van Hall Larenstein in Leeuwarden on Monday, Jansman said that the Veluwe area in Gelderland would be a better candidate for wolves to make part of their territory thanks to its wide stretches of space without human development.
Farmers and hunters
Jansman says that livestock farmers and hunters should not be alarmed by the increasing reports of wolves in the region. Wolves prefer to hunt deer and game, and sheep and goats make up less than two percent of their kills. Dutch national policy also dictates that farmers are compensated for any livestock lost to wolves. Hunters are also not at risk of wolves forming competition for them: “Wolves tend to target the weaker and older animals in a herd, both of which are less likely to reproduce in the first place.”
In the spring and summer, wolf spottings across the north were nearly a daily occurrence. The two wolves that were identified and tracked have long left the area: a female wolf known as GW998f has been traced to the Veluwe region, and a male wolf known as GW979m, which was sighted near Driezum and Rinsumageast, is now in Kempen in Belgium.
Groningen and Drenthe
The Forestry Commission previously stated that there are signs that wolves may be settling in the Midden-Drenthe area, and wildlife photographers rose to the occasion and captured images of wolves across Groningen in May.