Česká verze

The annual wolf monitoring confirms two new wolf territories in the Czech Republic

Joint press release by Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (Hnutí DUHA Olomouc), Faculty of Science at Charles University and Faculty of Environment of the Czech University of Life Science

11.2.2022, Selmy.cz, FoS CU, FES CULS

In 2021, the unique field monitoring of large carnivores identified twenty-four wolf territories that at least partially extended into the Czech Republic. That is two more territories compared to the data from the 2019–2020 season; one in the Orlické Mountains and one in the Upper Palatine Forest [1]. Most of the territories were located in border areas of Bohemia (the western part of the Czech Republic), some reaching the Czech Republic only by margins. Eighteen areas were occupied by wolf packs, four were used by wolf pairs and in two cases by single individuals.


Grey wolf territories in 2020/2021

Graphic processing of the map by Markéta Jedličková.


The map is based on proven cases of wolf reproduction documented by camera traps, genetic analyses or repeated reliable findings of tracks and faeces confirming the use of territory by wolves. It does not include data on incidental sightings of individual wolves since the temporary occurrence of such animals cannot be ruled out in most of the Czech Republic due to the high mobility of the species. Such information is also evaluated by researchers but it is not relevant for determining the number of occupied territories.

The data refer to the “wolf year” 2020–2021 which means the period from May 2020 to the end of April 2021: with most pups being born in April, this time frame better corresponds to the reproductive cycle of wolves than the calendar year. In our conditions, packs usually consist of 4-6 individuals.

Compared to the previous year, a breeding pack was confirmed in the Orlické Mountains for the first time, and the new territory was identified in the Upper Palatine Forest, in addition to the known pack, thanks to genetic analyses. Wolves expand to the Czech Republic mostly from the north – from 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 into Moravia and Silesia. However, individuals from both populations may meet in the Czech Republic. For example, in a sample collected at the end of November 2020 in the Orlické Mountains, scientists identified a male of Carpathian origin. Three weeks later, the same individual was detected in the Carpathians, on the Slovak side of the Javorníky Mountains.

Wolves in the Orlické Mountains; source: Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (Hnutí DUHA Olomouc)

Wolves in the Orlické Mountains; source: Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (Hnutí DUHA Olomouc)



The monitoring and research of wolves in the Czech Republic is a joint effort of Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (Hnutí DUHA Olomouc), Mendel University in Brno, Czech University of Life Sciences (CULS) in Prague, Šumava National Park Administration and Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic. The Polish association WILK, the OWAD project partners from Saxony and the Bavarian Forest National Park Authority were consulted on the cross-border territories. Genetic analyses were carried out by the Faculty of Science at Charles University, the Czech University of Agriculture and the CEwolf consortium.

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 combined results confirm the trend of recent years where we see wolves continually spreading to other areas. However, the map may not show all the territories that have emerged. Our monitoring capacity is limited and outside protected areas, the presence of wolves may escape attention, especially where there are no known cases of attacks on livestock. Therefore, we welcome any reports of wolf presence from the public sent to e-mail stopy@selmy.cz.”

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

“In the 2020–2021 season, we genetically processed over 400 wolf samples from the Czech Republic, which is more than double the previous period. This is not due to an increase in the number of wolves (we have only two more territories compared to last year), but to the intensification of genetic monitoring within several new projects. Again, we have confirmed that there are no wolf-dog hybrids. We have been able to map the territories and origins of solitary individuals more accurately, and we have obtained a lot of additional information about the wolf population. More information on wolf genetic monitoring can be found at https://www.navratvlku.cz/o-vlkovi-genetika/.”

Aleš Vorel, a senior researcher at the Faculty of Environment of the Czech University of Life Science in Prague, head of the Czech-Saxon OWAD and OWADIS project, adds:

“We have expected and continue to expect an increase in wolf territories; after all, our landscape with high ungulate populations provides ideal conditions for stronger population development. However, we are also seeing the ongoing settlement of quieter parts of the country; we are talking in particular about the less visited border regions. The connection of wolves to protected areas of the Czech Republic (with a large number of protected landscape areas and parts of national parks resettled), less human-dominated regions (such as the Bohemian Forest and the Ore Mountains) or military areas is still quite strong and evident.”



[1] For more information about the wolf territories in the 2019–2020 season, see last year's press release: https://www.selmy.cz/tiskove-zpravy/vlcich-teritorii-mezirocne-pribylo-do-ceska-jich-zasahuje-dvaadvacet/

[2] Information on genetic monitoring of wolves is available at www.navratvlku.cz/o-vlkovi-genetika/.



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

E-mail: miroslav.kutal@hnutiduha.cz

Phone: +420 728 832 889

Pavel Hulva, molecular ecologist and senior researcher at Faculty of Science, Charles University

E-mail: hulva@natur.cuni.cz

Phone: +420 608 676 877

Aleš Vorel, a senior researcher at the Faculty of Environment of CULS and head of the OWAD and OWADIS project

E-mail: vorel@fzp.czu.cz

Phone: +420 605 281 401



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