Česká verze

The number of wolf packs increased over the last year

Eighteen wolf territories now extend to the Czech Republic

25.2.2020, Selmy.cz

According to a comprehensive country-wide field monitoring, there were eighteen wolf territories in 2019 at least partly extending to the Czech Republic. Sixteen of them were located in border areas, some reaching Czech territory only by margins. Thirteen areas were occupied by wolf packs, which in our conditions usually comprise of 4-6 individuals. Compared to 2018, two more territories and three more wolf packs were recorded.

Wolf occurrence in the season 2018/2019Map of populated wolf territories in the Czech Republic in 2018/2019


The monitoring and research of wolves in the Czech Republic is a joint effort of Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (Hnutí DUHA), Mendel University in Brno, Czech University of Life Sciences (CULS) in Prague, Šumava National Park Administration and Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic. Information on cross-border territories was consulted with the Polish association WILK, OWAD project partners from Saxony and the Veterinary University in Vienna. Genetic analyses were performed by experts from Charles University in Prague, CULS and CEwolf Consortium.

The above map is based on proven cases of wolf reproduction documented by camera traps, genetic analyses or repeated reliable findings of tracks and faeces, which confirmed the use of territory by wolves. Random observations of single wolves were not included in the map; due to the high mobility of the species, temporary occurrence of such animals cannot be ruled out in most of the Czech Republic. Although these records also require evaluation, they are not relevant for determining the number of settled territories.

The data refer to the "wolf year" 2018/2019 which means the period from May 2018 to the end of April 2019 - this time frame better corresponds to the reproductive cycle of wolves than the calendar year with most pups being born in April.

Wolves expand to the Czech Republic mostly from the north - the Central European lowland population, the centre of which is in western Poland and Germany.  Meanwhile, wolves from the Slovak and Polish Carpathians are spreading to Moravia and Silesia where the number of territories doubled from the previous year from two to four. More detailed information on individual packs is available at www.mapa.selmy.cz, details on the Czech-Saxon border area can be found on the project website OWAD.

Miroslav Kutal, a senior researcher at Mendel University in Brno and the main coordinator of the large carnivore programme at Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (Hnutí DUHA), comments:

"The current trend of wolves returning to the Czech Republic, which we observe in recent years, is persistent and copies the situation in other European countries. Nowadays, wolves occur in all larger countries on the European mainland. Wolf populations in countries such as Denmark, the Netherlands or Belgium also come from the Central European lowland population."

Pavel Hulva, a senior researcher in charge of wolf genetic monitoring at Charles University, explains:

"In recent years, my colleagues, my students and I have devoted a lot of effort to create an integrated system that allows us to combine field and laboratory data from the Czech Republic and neighbouring countries to get a more accurate picture of what is happening in wolf populations. We are also able to study the impact of this key species on the regeneration of damaged Anthropocene ecosystems."

Aleš Vorel, a senior researcher at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, head of the Czech-Saxon OWAD project, adds:

"It is evident from the distribution of territories that wolves populate mainly remote areas along the Czech borders. We might expect the establishment of other territories in the coming years, especially in mountainous and forested areas. The wolves will keep arriving dominantly from the Central European lowland population, from Saxony and Poland. Due to the high mobility of the species and the increasing number of individuals in our territory, we might expect more observations of individual migrating animals or collisions with vehicles."

František Pelc, director of the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic, concludes:

"Wolves are gradually colonizing new areas and can attack unsecured livestock herds. That is why we have prepared the Wolf Management Plan to establish measures that will minimize such damages and conflicts. It proposes simplifying the system of damage compensation and including additional costs, as well as providing financial support for preventive measures. These measures can significantly reduce the number of wolf attacks."


Miroslav Kutal, large carnivore expert of Friends of the Czech Republic (Hnutí DUHA) and senior researcher at the Institute of Forest Ecology, Mendel University in Brno said: +420 728 832 889, miroslav.kutal@hnutiduha.cz

Pavel Hulva, molecular ecologist and senior researcher at Charles University: +420 608 676 877, hulva@natur.cuni.cz

Aleš Vorel, CULS and OWAD, vorel@fzp.czu.cz, +420 605 281 401

Karolína Šůlová, Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic, karolina.sulova@nature.cz, +420 724 102 406




Friends of the Earth are able to carry out projects on protection and monitoring of large carnivores thanks to generous support of individual donors – Friends of Large Carnivores. Please join us here.

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