SILVA GABRETA 11 (1)

Luděk Bufka, Marco Heurich, Thomas Engleder, Manfred Wölfl, Jaroslav Červený & Wolfgang Scherzinger

Wolf occurrence in the Czech-Bavarian-Austrian border region – review of the history and current status

Abstract

The native wolf population was exterminated in the area during the second half of the 19th century. There were scarce data on wolf occurrence in the first half of the 20th century. Eight animals escaped from captivity in 1976. Altogether 16 animals were shot during following years 1976–1989. Since 1990 there is increase of findings with different level of reliability. Data indicate the occurrence of only single individuals, most likely males, and not any population. Reproduction could not be confirmed. The origin of the individual wolves is unclear. Some findings indicate animals escaped from captivity, but also a natural immigration from the east (the Carpathians) seems to be possible. The wolf occurrence in the area under study corresponds well with the population increase in Slovakia. The dead animals, which were analysed morphometrically, relate to wolves, but the genetic analysis is still missing. Bohemian Forest is seen as an area with sufficient natural carrying capacity for the permanent occurrence of wolf. The main constraint might be the acceptance by people, mainly hunters and farmers.

Key words:
extermination, recent distribution, immigration, captive animals

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