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On the Trail of the Wolf, Europe’s Much Maligned and Misunderstood Predator

posted Apr 18, 2016, 11:29 AM by chloe owens

1/2/16, by Alex Duval Smith, The Guardian

On the trail of the wolf, Europe’s much maligned and misunderstood predator

…There are now an estimated 1,500 wolves in Poland.  The number has doubled in 15 years. Wolves are – along with the brown bear, the lynx and the wolverine – Europe’s last large predator carnivores…The average territory required by a Polish pack is 250 sq km (96 sq miles)…The ban on wolf hunting in the western Carpathians came into force in 1995, and nationwide in Poland in 1998. There are now resident packs in virtually all the country’s major forests. The predators coexist with humans rather than being fenced off, as they are in African safari parks. The Polish government pays compensation for livestock killed by wolves. Myslajek advises farmers on erecting electric fences…The country now has one of the highest densities in the world of overhead crossings and underpasses for wild animals…Packs are mobile across borders and hunting still goes on in neighboring Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Slovakia.