Sunday, 17 March 2019

Photo trap registers wolf in Giant Mountains

ČTK |
30 July 2018

Vrchlabi, East Bohemia, July 27 (CTK) - A photo trap has registered a wolf in the eastern part of Krkonose (Giant Mountains), the highest mountain range in the Czech Republic, representatives of the Krkonose National Park (KRNAP) Administration, which installed the trap, told CTK on Friday.

This is another piece of evidence that wolves are returning to Krkonose after more than 150 years.

Jiri Flousek, zoologist from the KRNAP Administration, said this was probably a migrating wolf.

"Wolves are most likely migrating to Krkonose from the east - from the Broumov and Vrani hory localities (East Bohemia) or from the adjacent part of Poland. However, their multiplication has not been proven. Everything rather indicates the migration of individual animals," he said.

Wolves disappeared from Krkonose in the middle of the 19th century. The last wolf was shot dead on the Czech side of the mountains in 1842 and on the Polish side in 1810.

After many decades, a wolf appeared in Krkonose in November 2011, also in the same Rychory locality as now, and in another part of the mountains in August 2016. In both cases, the wolves attacked farm animals.

"The June picture of a wolf from a photo trap became the first really inconvertible proof of the wolf incidence in Krkonose," KRNAP Administration director Robin Bohnisch said.

However, people do not have to fear anything in connection with wolves in Krkonose, its administration says.

"The wolf is a shy animal that does not attack people in our conditions. On the contrary, it avoids them. It may cause worries to local farmers whose sheep flocks might be attractive to wolves," park spokesman Radek Drahny said.

However, according to expert studies, farm animals make up less than 10 percent of wolves' food. They predominately prey on deer and wild boar.

If a wolf causes damage to farmers, the respective regional office compensates them. Besides, they can draw subsidies from the Environment Operational Programme for the protection from damages caused by carnivores. The funds are primarily intended for building stronger fences and for a watchdog.

Wolves returned permanently to the Broumov protected nature area bordering on Poland three years ago, after more than 200 years. Conservationists have evidence that wolves living there had cubs for the third year in a row.

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