The Wolf Intelligencer


Bulgaria – България



Aegean and Western Turkey sclerophyllous and mixed forests ecoregion (Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome) (Palearctic realm)

Balkan mixed forests ecoregion (temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome) (Palearctic realm)

East European forest steppe ecoregion (temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome) (Palearctic realm)

Euxine-Colchic deciduous forests ecoregion (temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome) (Palearctic realm)

Pontic–Caspian steppe ecoregion (Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands) (Palearctic realm)

Rodope montane mixed forests ecoregion (temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome) (Palearctic realm)

Wolves in National parks and Protected Areas
Central Balkan National Park | Национален парк Централен Балкан
Pirin National Park | Национален парк Пирин
Rila National ParK | Национален парк Рила
Bulgarka Natural Park | Природен Парк Българка
Rila Monastery Nature Park | Природен парк „Рилски манастир
Sinite Kamani Nature Park
Location of Sinite Kamani Natural Park and schematic position of the camera traps through the park (black circles).
Strandzha Nature Park | Природен парк Странджа Priroden park Strandzha
Vitosha Nature Park
Ali Botush Reserve | Али ботуш
Bayuvi Dupki–Dzhindzhiritsa Reserve | Баюви дупки–Джинджирица
Beglika Reserve
Beli Lom Reserve
Bistrishko Branishte Reserve
Byala Krava Reserve
Chervenata sten biosphere reserve
Chuprene Biosphere Reserve
Central Rila Reserve
Dzhendema Reserve
Elenova Gora Reserve
Gornata Koria Reserve
Torfeno Branishte Reserve
Orelyak Reserve
Kazanite Reserve
Kongura Reserve
Parangalitsa Reserve
Peeshti Skali Reserve
Ropotamo Reserve
Severen Dzhendem Reserve
Silkosiya Reserve
Skakavitsa Reserve
Sredoka Reserve
Stara Reka Reserve
Torfeno Branishte Reserve
Tisovitsa Reserve
Tsarichina Reserve
Uzunbodzhak Reserve
Valchi Dol Reserve
Vitanovo Reserve
Yulen Reserve

Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)
Eurasion Wolf (Canis lupus lupus)

Population Statistics [1,200; approximate, unknown]
Статистическите данни за населението

“According to the expert assessment the population did not exceed 1000-1200 animals. The mean general numbers of the wolves in Bulgaria (ETC) during the period 2002-2012 was 2200 animals with maximum value of 2561 animals in 2008 and minimum of 2005 animals in 2003[1]. During this period the mean numbers of wolf’s population over the territories managed by the Regional Directorate of Forestry (RDG) of the Executive Agency of Forests was 737 animals (min 605 and max 934),”

Distribution and numbers of wolves (Canis lupus) in Bulgaria: what is going on?. Buletinul Academiei de Ştiinţe a Moldovei. Markov G. Ştiinţele vieţii. 2014 May

Legal Status; Regulated by legal hunting. Game species.
Легален статут

The Ministery of Environment and Water
Министерството на околната среда и водите

Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Waters Ruse (RIEW)
Регионална инспекция по околната среда и водите –Русе (РИОСВ)

Wolf BG  Вълците в България

Balkan Wildlife Society
Сдружение за дива природа „Балкани“ (София, Sofia, България, Bulgaria)

Internatiinal Wolf Center – Bulgaria

News Resources & Publications
новинарски ресурси и публикации
(Search Term- вълци в България)
Радио Варна (България, Bulgaria)
Darik News (София, Sofia, България, Bulgaria)


Wolf and Wildlife News from Bulgaria

Journal Articles

Apostatic or Anti-apostatic? Prey Selection of Wolf Canis lupus L.(Mammalia: Canidae) in the Osogovo Mountain, Bulgaria. Dolapchiev NP, Zlatanova DP, Popover ED, Petrov PR. ACTA ZOOLOGICA BULGARICA 2022 Jan


In a study conducted in 2018-2020, we tested the hypothesis that the wolf in Osogovo Mtn was selecting its prey opportunistically, with a preference for the most abundant prey (apostatic selection). To achieve this, scat analysis was performed simultaneously with prey density assessment through objective camera traps data, Random Encounter Model (REM) and selectivity analysis. The results showed that the wild Boar was the most preferred prey by the wolf, complemented by the domestic horse. The Roe deer had a smaller, close to insignificant share. The selectivity index also confirmed the wild Boar dominance in the wolf diet, which was consistent through the years and seasons. The active selection towards wild Boar was anti-apostatic in nature as the wild Boar densities were 10-times lower than those of the Roe deer. Our results differed from those obtained by a previous study in the same region in 2002–2003, where the Roe deer accounted for 71.9% of the wolf diet. This study also showed anti-apostatic selection towards smaller prey probably formed by the decrease of the wild Boar abundance in the past.

Spatial, seasonal and gender distribution of harvested wolves Canis lupus L. in Bulgaria. Tsingarska E, Dimitrov K, Delov V, Tsvetkova N, Vassilev V, Cloud GP. Wolf-Human Coexistence in the Alps and in Europe, 2018 Mar


The wolf Canis lupus is a game species in Bulgaria. Its hunting is allowed all year round, by the only legal method, shooting. Legally killed wolves are recorded, and the time and place of shooting, gender and approximate age of each individual are noted. However, no analysis has been made of this data to date. We collected data about killed wolves from the forestry authorities in the country, for the period 2006-2009, along with data about the month and place of harvesting, gender and approximate age of each killed individual. Data was processed in terms of spatial and time distribution of killed individuals as well as in terms of gender. The highest concentration of locations of killed wolves is in the mountainous areas of Western Bulgaria and mostly in Mid-west part of the country. The rest of the locations are mainly distributed in the South, through Rhodope Mts. and along the Stara Planina Mts., which stretches from west to east in the middle of the country. These results correspond to the data on the abundance and density of wolf populations, obtained by testing the national methodology for monitoring the species in model areas in the country. 54.3% of all wolves killed in the period 2006-2009 were shot within Natura 2000 sites. According to the processed data, for the studied period, most of the wolves (72%) were killed during the hunting season of wild Boar (October-January) and least during the period April-August (altogether 12%). More males than females are killed throughout the year. Material and methods We sent a questionnaire to all LSFHs in the country requesting to receive data on killed wolves in the period 2006-2009, indicating year and month of shooting, gender and the most possible accurate location of the shot. The received data were processed for each LSFH, summarized by year, by month and by gender. The spatial distribution of killed wolves was processed in ArcGIS ver10x. Individuals with known location of culling were marked on the map with point locations.. The rest, for which more general location was given, are processed for the boundaries of the particular LSFH. Processed data was put on a map over a polygon layer of LSFH, to which information on the number of killed wolves per 100 sq. km. is associated. The index is calculated for each LSFH, with urban and industrial areas as well as those occupied by water surface being excluded. Data on the killed wolves given by gender, were summarized as a general ratio and analyzed by months and years.

[PDF] Diversity and Temporal Relationships between Mammals at Feeding Stations in Western Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria; Terrestrial Ecology and Behavior, ED Popova, DP Zlatanova, V Todev, Acta Zoologica Bulgarica. 2017 Dec 


Supplementary feeding of game species is a widespread practice throughout Europe, leading to a concentration of both game and non-game species. The objectives of our study were to identify the species visiting feeding stations and investigate the temporal relationships between them using camera traps at feeding
stations in four state hunting enterprises and three forestries in Western Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria. A total of 14 species of mammals were registered. The wild Boar (Sus scrofa L.), red deer (Cervus elaphus L.) and Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.) were the most frequently visiting mammals. The wild Boar, red deer and brown bear (Ursus arctos L.) spent the longest periods of time at the feeding stations. Large mammals (omnivores and herbivores) prevailed throughout the time between successive food restockings.Twelve pairs of two or more mammal species recorded at the same time were documented and analysed in terms of temporal overlap. The animals altered their foraging strategies depending on the available amount of supplementary food. Feeding sites provide a unique opportunity to study the behaviour of vari-
ous mammals, including the ones with conservation significance.

Distribution and numbers of wolves (Canis lupus) in Bulgaria: what is going on?. Buletinul Academiei de Ştiinţe a Moldovei. Markov G. Ştiinţele vieţii. 2014 May


The wolf (Canis lupus) is the largest member of the canine family. Gray wolves are among the most wide ranging land animals and being a keystone predator, represent an integral component of the ecosystems to which they typically belong. As top predators
in many ecosystems, the wolves are important in controlling populations of their prey. The wide range of habitats in which the gray wolf can thrive reflects their adaptability as a species. The original range of gray wolves covers a big part of the Northern hemisphere, where they occupy a wide variety of habitats, such as temperate forests, mountains, tundra, taiga, grasslands, and arid landscapes. As biological species, the wolves are not yet thought to be at risk of extinction, and in some areas populations are probably stable, but most of their local populations are still threatened [5]. The major threats for the wolf are ongoing extermination efforts, change in species dynamics through prey base decline, persecution and habitat loss-degradation. In the nearest and more distant past the wolf’s numbers has decreased with varying intensity in the different European countries and in many cases it has become completely extinct as it happened in the Western-Central Alps (exterminated in the 20th century) or in British Isles (wolves have been exterminated from the 1700’s). Hereof, the wolves are also included in Appendix II (strictly protected species) of the Bern Convention (Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, 19.9.1979). Although some countries, among which Bulgaria, have signed the Convention, they have made an exception for wolf protection [7]; thus, the status of wolf populations in this part of Europe should be permanently monitored. This report is an attempt to provide an updated snapshot of the current knowledge of the wolf in Bulgaria aiming to find the geographical distribution and the recent trends in wolf’s numbers in the country in the beginning of 21 century.

Unregulated hunting and genetic recovery from a severe population decline: the cautionary case of Bulgarian wolves. Moura AE, Tsingarska E, Dąbrowski MJ, Czarnomska SD, Jędrzejewska B, Pilot M. Conservation Genetics. 2014 Apr


European wolf (Canis lupus) populations have suffered extensive decline and range contraction due to anthropogenic culling. In Bulgaria, although wolves are still recovering from a severe demographic bottleneck in the 1970s, hunting is allowed with few constraints. A recent increase in hunting pressure has raised concerns regarding long-term viability. We thus carried out a comprehensive conservation genetic analysis using microsatellite and mtDNA markers. Our results showed high heterozygosity levels (0.654, SE 0.031) and weak genetic bottleneck signals, suggesting good recovery since the 1970s decline. However, we found high levels of inbreeding (F IS = 0.113, SE 0.019) and a N e/N ratio lower than expected for an undisturbed wolf population (0.11, 95 % CI 0.08–0.29). We also found evidence for hybridisation and introgression from feral dogs (C. familiaris) in 10 out of 92 wolves (9.8 %). Our results also suggest admixture between wolves and local populations of golden jackals (C. aureus), but less extensive as compared with the admixture with dogs. We detected local population structure that may be explained by fragmentation patterns during the 1970s decline and differences in local ecological characteristics, with more extensive sampling needed to assess further population substructure. We conclude that high levels of inbreeding and hybridisation with other canid species, which likely result from unregulated hunting, may compromise long-term viability of this population despite its current high genetic diversity. The existence of population subdivision warrants an assessment of whether separate management units are needed for different subpopulations. Our study highlights conservation threats for populations with growing numbers but subject to unregulated hunting.

Habitat variables associated with wolf (Canis lupus L.) distribution and abundance in Bulgaria. Zlatanova D, Popova E. Bulgarian Journal of Agricultural Science. 2013


The wolf is highly adaptable and at the same time, a confl ict species, which demands for better understanding of the variables, associated with its presence. This is the first paper in Bulgaria, dealing with the habitat variables defining the wolf distribution in the country. Based on data for 1323 wolf locations collected during the last 3 years and updated distribution in Bulgaria, we analysed the main habitat factors influencing the distribution and abundance of the wolf in the country. The outcome of these analyses shows that although being mainly a forest species, the wolf does not avoid pastures and meadows and is tolerable to urban areas, although it prefers areas with smaller settlements. The wolves also avoid altitude below 500 m (correlated with densely populated areas and bigger settlements) and above 2000 m (above forest level) and show no signifi cant preference to certain inclinations of the slope. The road density is also of no significant importance for the wolf distribution but there is clear avoidance of the busy primary roads (highways, fi rst and second-class roads). The density of water areas is also of no significant influence for the wolf presence. The prey base (ungulate) density is one of the most important factors defining the wolf distribution and abundance as most of the wolf locations are collected in areas with ungulate biomass of 100-150 kg/ кm2. Indirectly the wolf is affected by the number of hunters per area, mainly through the competition for the prey. Directly the species is affected only when the hunters’ density is above 3 hunters/ km2. Highest wolf density is observed in areas with 1-1.5 hunters/кm2, which is also correlated with high numbers of ungulates.

Bucking the trend in wolf-dog hybridization: first evidence from Europe of hybridization between female dogs and male wolves. Hindrikson M, Männil P, Ozolins J, Krzywinski A, Saarma U. PLoS one. 2012 Oct

The wolf (Canis lupus l., 1758) in Bulgaria. Mihaylov H, Stoyanov S. InInternational symposium on hunting,“Modern aspects of sustainable management of game population”, Zemun-Belgrade, Serbia 2012 Jun

Wolves of the World, Agree To Defer? Wolves in Bulgaria. Chris Senior, International Wolf Center 2011

Damages of Gray Wolf (Canis Lupus L.) During Ten Year Period in Bulgaria. Genov P, Dzhindzhieva A. Biotechnology & Biotechnological Equipment. 2010 Jan

Dynamic of Distribution and Number of Gray Wolf (Canis Lupus L.) During Ten Year Period in Bulgaria. Genov P, Dzhindzhieva A, Mircheva A. Biotechnology & Biotechnological Equipment. 2010 Jan

The Role of Wolf (Canis lupus L.) in the Rhodope Mountains in the Beginning of the 21st Century. Genov P, Dutsov A, Dimitrova D, Stoyanova N, Angelovв I, Zlatanova D, Peshev D, Arabadjiev D, Georgiev T, Serafimov G, Sariyski S. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica. 2008 Nov


 Challenges of nature conservation in postsocialist Bulgaria: A view from the Rhodope Mountains. Cellarius BA.InIn: Watson, Alan; Sproull, Janet; Dean, Liese, comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Eighth World Wilderness Congress symposium; September 30-October 6, 2005; Anchorage, AK. Proceedings RMRS-P-49. Fort Collins, CO: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 258-266 2007

Use of Carcasses from Wolf Kills by Griffon Vultures in Eastern Rhodopes, Bulgaria. Angelov I, Demerdjiev D, Stoychev S. CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF VULTURE POPULATIONS. 2005 Nov

Mammalian fauna of Osogovo mountain. InProceedings of the Balkan Scientific Conference of Biology in Plovdiv (Bulgaria)(19–21 May 2005). Zlatanova D, Genov P, Purov V. Plovdiv 2005 May

 Population dynamics and reproduction of the wolf (Canis lupus) in Bulgaria. In Study, conservation and utilisation of forest resources. Proceedings of the Third Balkan Scientific Conference, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2-6 October 2001. Volume III (pp. 525-528). Forest Research Institute. Genov, P.V. and Bojadzhiev, M., 2002

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