The grey wolf (Canis lupus) is one of the most controversial animal species – hated by some people and admired by others. The indigenous people of North America, as well as German and Slavic nations in Europe, worshipped and respected wolves. Over time, with the development of Western civilization, people started to fear and persecute the wolves. These intelligent and shy animals became the victims of tales about bloodthirsty beasts.
After the total extermination in previous centuries, wolves started to return to the eastern part of the Czech Republic in the 1990s. Unfortunately, they were quickly decimated by poachers and now only single wolves sporadically occur here. Legal hunting in neighbouring Slovakia seems to be the main factor preventing their expansion.
At least since 2014, the thriving German-Polish population has been expanding to the Czech Republic. A reproducing pack has been confirmed in the Kokořínsko-Mácha's Region PLA and the Broumov area. Single wolves have been recently recorded in other border mountain areas, including the Bohemian Forest, Jeseníky, and Krušné Mts.
The grey wolf is considered a critically endangered species protected under the Czech legislation. The main threats to its survival remain poaching and transport infrastructure.
Current distribution of the grey wolf in the Czech Republic (edited according to Červený et al., 2005).
Grey areas show the permanent distribution of wolves – locations with occasional and irregular occurrence are also marked