Czech Republic To Allow Shooting of Dangerous Wolves
Wolf packs have returned to the mountain areas of Moravian Silesia in recent years. Photo credit: Freepik.
Ostrava/Bystrice, North Moravia, May 5 (CTK) – The Environment and Agriculture Ministries will permit the culling of dangerous and problematic wolves, despite their status as protected animals in the Czech Republic, said Environment Minister Petr Hladik (KDU-CSL) during a visit to the Moravian-Silesian Region yesterday.
Wolf packs have returned to the mountain areas of the region in recent years. However, their population in the Beskydy mountains is coming into conflict with sheep breeders. Last year, wolves killed 186 farm animals belonging to 80 of the region’s farmers. The state paid the farmers CZK 1.3 million in compensation through the regional authority.
“In recent years, wolves have been returning to the Czech countryside where they belong,” said Hladik. “As a sharp predator, it helps control overpopulated cloven-hoofed game which are damaging forests and causing harm to farmers. It is thus returning balance to Czech nature. However, it is necessary to be prepared for the cases where some wolves may pose a risk.”
He said that any wolves causing problems could be hunted in the public interest.
“The idea is to avoid any critical situations that these individual wolves could cause,” added Agriculture Minister Zdenek Nekula (KDU-CSL).
The agreement is part of both ministries’ emerging plan to intervene against dangerous wolves. “The plan clearly defines cooperation between the two ministries in order to find an effective solution and preparedness in case a problematic situation arises,” Nekula added.
The wolf is among the specially protected species in the Czech Republic and the EU. The plan therefore outlines the steps to be taken to deal with dangerous wolves promptly.
Wolves returned to the Silesian Beskydy mountains several years ago. Scientists mapped their first breeding on the Czech side of the mountains in summer 2020. Genetic analysis shows that they are part of the Carpathian wolf population.
The pack is moving between both the Czech and Polish sides of the border. This year, observations have confirmed further wolf cubs.
Monitoring of large predators in the Beskydy mountains in February confirmed the presence of lynx and wolves, while bears were not proven. Wolves are more frequent in the Beskydy Protected Landscape Area than before. There are currently three wolf packs inhabiting the region. In addition to wolf packs, there is one wolf pair and at least one lone wolf. In total, there are about 20 to 25 wolves in one year, however, only about ten appear there year-round.