Wolves killed 87 sheep in the three northern provinces of Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland over the course of 2018.
Translation by Traci White
The definitive numbers have been made known by Bij12, an agency that handles damage claims from the Dutch provinces. Across the Netherlands, 166 sheep were killed by wolves last year.
There were 44 documented incidents, and the total estimated damage is around 33,000 euros. Dagblad van het Noorden reports that the most sheep were killed in Overijssel (54) and Drenthe (52).
Maurice la Haye, a spokesperson for Wolven in Nederland, an organisation seeking to ensure that wolves and humans can coexist harmoniously, says that roving wolves are likelier to target sheep than wolves that have settled into a territory. “Roving wolves are like backpacking teenagers: you have to eat where and when you can, so you just grab a quick hamburger. Sheep are easy prey, which they obviously aren’t meant to be, but all that the wolves are thinking about it how hungry they are. A wolf that settles in somewhere is likelier to go for deer and boar.”
Four sheep have already been killed by a wolf in 2019 in Overijssel. There have not been any other reports of wolves killing sheep in any other provinces thus far this year.
Damage caused by the wolves is far less expensive than damage caused annually by other protected species, namely geese (26 million euros in 2017), chickadees (1.5 million), wigeons (983,000 euros), badgers (295,000 euros) and boar (225,000 euros).