The Wolf Intelligencer



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Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe (IUCN)
Euro Large Carnivores
The European Nature Trust

1979 Bern Convention (Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats) Appendix II (Strictly Protected Species)

1992 Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats of Wild Fauna and Flora) Appendix II (Habitat Conservation Needs) Appendix IV (Full Protection)

Journal Articles

Do apex predators need to regulate prey populations to be a right conservation target?. Martínez-Abraín A, Llaneza L, Ballesteros F, Grandal-d’Anglade A. Biological Conservation. 2021 Sep


complete conservation target. We argue that this image originates in northern latitudes where cultural models of wildness have developed further due to contingent historical and social reasons. In southern European ecosystems apex predators usually cannot regulate prey populations, acting as scavengers or vegetarian. As a consequence, prey are often regulated by bottom-up mechanisms, such as density-dependent disease or food availability. This should not be seen as a downgrading of predator functionality in ecosystems, but just as another type of ecosystem organization. Actually, the species that we now call apex predators were part of much richer predator communities in the Pleistocene, where they behaved as mesopredators (wolf) or already had vegetarian diets (southern brown bear). Species functionality shows spatiotemporal heterogeneity, and this variability needs to be taken into account and incorporated to conservation plans on a case by case basis, to improve their success rates and human-wildlife coexistence.

Large carnivore expansion in Europe is associated with human population density and land cover changes. Cimatti M, Ranc N, Benítez‐López A, Maiorano L, Boitani L, Cagnacci F, Čengić M, Ciucci P, Huijbregts MA, Krofel M, López‐Bao JV. Diversity and Distributions. 2021 Apr



The recent recovery of large carnivores in Europe has been explained as resulting from a decrease in human persecution driven by widespread rural land abandonment, paralleled by forest cover increase and the consequent increase in availability of shelter and prey. We investigated whether land cover and human population density changes are related to the relative probability of occurrence of three European large carnivores: the grey wolf (Canis lupus), the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) and the brown bear (Ursus arctos).


Europe, west of 64° longitude.


We fitted multi‐temporal species distribution models using >50,000 occurrence points with time series of land cover, landscape configuration, protected areas, hunting regulations and human population density covering a 24‐year period (1992–2015). Within the temporal window considered, we then predicted changes in habitat suitability for large carnivores throughout Europe.


Between 1992 and 2015, the habitat suitability for the three species increased in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, North‐West Iberian Peninsula and Northern Scandinavia, but showed mixed trends in Western and Southern Europe. These trends were primarily associated with increases in forest cover and decreases in human population density, and, additionally, with decreases in the cover of mosaics of cropland and natural vegetation.

Main conclusions

Recent land cover and human population changes appear to have altered the habitat suitability pattern for large carnivores in Europe, whereas protection level did not play a role. While projected changes largely match the observed recovery of large carnivore populations, we found mismatches with the recent expansion of wolves in Central and Southern Europe, where factors not included in our models may have played a dominant role. This suggests that large carnivores’ co‐existence with humans in European landscapes is not limited by habitat availability, but other factors such as favourable human tolerance and policy.

Infectious Diseases and Wildlife Conservation Medicine: The Case of the Canine Distemper in European Wolf Population. Francesco, C.E.D., Smoglica, C. and Angelucci, S., 2020

Connectivity and Suitable Habitat Analysis for Wolves (Canis lupus L.) in the Eastern Pyrenees. Garcia-Lozano C, Varga D, Pintó J, Roig-Munar FX. Landscape Sustainability. 2020 Jan

Last but not beast: the fall of the Alpine wolves told by historical DNA. Dufresnes C, Miquel C, Taberlet P, Fumagalli L. Mammal Research. 2019 Mar

Feeding Enrichment in a Captive Pack of European Wolves (Canis Lupus Lupus): Assessing the Effects on Welfare and on a Zoo’s Recreational, Educational and Conservational Role. Animals, Riggio, G., Mariti, C., Boncompagni, C., Corosaniti, S., Di Giovanni, M., Ogi, A., Gazzano, A. and Thomas, R., 2019

Keep the wolf from the door: How to conserve wolves in Europe’s human-dominated landscapes?.Kuijper, D. P. J., M. Churski, A. Trouwborst, M. Heurich, C. Smit, G. I. H. Kerley, and J. P. G. M. Cromsigt.  Biological Conservation 235 2019

[HTML] Two decades of non-invasive genetic monitoring of the grey wolves recolonizing the Alps support very limited dog introgression
C Dufresnes, N Remollino, C Stoffel, R Manz… – Scientific reports, 2019

Return of grey wolf (Canis lupus) to Central Europe: challenges and recommendations for future management in cultural landscapes. Herzog S. Annals of Forest Research. 2018 Dec

Wolves at the crossroad: Fission–fusion range biogeography in the Western Carpathians and Central Europe. Hulva P, Černá Bolfíková B, Woznicová V, Jindřichová M, Benešová M, Mysłajek RW, Nowak S, Szewczyk M, Niedźwiecka N, Figura M, Hájková A. Diversity and Distributions. 2018 Feb

Return of grey wolf (Canis lupus) to Central Europe: challenges and recommendations for future management in cultural landscapes
S Herzog – Annals of Forest Research, 2018

Howling from the past: historical phylogeography and diversity losses in European grey wolves Dufresnes C, Miquel C, Remollino N, Biollaz F, Salamin N, Taberlet P, Fumagalli L. Proceedings of the Royal 2018 Aug

Quantifying prey selection of Northern and Southern European wolves (Canis lupus). Ståhlberg S, Bassi E, Viviani V, Apollonio M. Mammalian Biology. 2017 Mar

Wolf population genetics in Europe: a systematic review, meta-analysis and suggestions for conservation and management.
Hindrikson M et al Biological Reviews. 2016

EU sanitary regulation on livestock disposal: implications for the diet of wolves. Lagos L, Bárcena F. Environmental management. 2015 Oct

Long-distance dispersal of a wolf, Canis lupus, in northwestern Europe. Andersen LW, Harms V, Caniglia R, Czarnomska SD, Fabbri E, Jędrzejewska B, Kluth G, Madsen AB, Nowak C, Pertoldi C, Randi E. Mammal Research. 2015 Apr

A meta‐analysis of studies on attitudes toward bears and wolves across Europe 1976–2012. Dressel S, Sandström C, Ericsson G. Conservation Biology. 2015 Apr

Recovery of large carnivores in Europe’s modern human-dominated landscapes. science.Chapron G, Kaczensky P, Linnell JD, von Arx M, Huber D, Andrén H, López-Bao JV, Adamec M, Álvares F, Anders O, Balčiauskas L. 2014 Dec

Recovery of large carnivores in Europe’s modern human-dominated landscapes
G Chapron, P Kaczensky, JDC Linnell, M von Arx, D Huber, H Andrén, …
science, 2014

Adaptive diet strategy of the wolf (Canis lupus L.) in Europe: a review. Zlatanova D, Ahmed A, Valasseva A, Genov P. Acta zoologica bulgarica. 2014 Dec

North-south differentiation and a region of high diversity in European wolves (Canis lupus); AV Stronen, B Jędrzejewska, C Pertoldi, D Demontis, E Randi, PLoS One, 2013 Oct

Wolves and Death: An Assessment of Thanatological Wolf Symbolism in Western South Slavic Folk Tradition. PLAS P. 2011

Ungulate-large carnivore relationships in Europe. Jędrzejewski W, Apollonio M, Jędrzejewska B, Kojola I. Ungulate management in europe: Problems and practices. 2010:

Phylogeographic history of grey wolves in Europe. Pilot M, Branicki W, Jędrzejewski W, Goszczyński J, Jędrzejewska B, Dykyy I, Shkvyrya M, Tsingarska E. BMC evolutionary biology. 2010 Dec

Mitochondrial DNA from prehistoric canids highlights relationships between dogs and South-East European wolves. Verginelli F, Capelli C, Coia V, Musiani M, Falchetti M, Ottini L, Palmirotta R, Tagliacozzo A, De Grossi Mazzorin I, Mariani-Costantini R. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 2005 Aug

Phylogeography of south European mammals. Randi E. Phylogeography of southern European refugia. 2007

Ecological factors influence population genetic structure of European grey wolves. Pilot M, Jedrzejewski W, Branicki W, Sidorovich VE, Jedrzejewska B, Stachura K, Funk SM. Molecular ecology. 2006 Dec

Sustainable tourism in biosphere reserves of East Central European countries–case studies from Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Nolte B. Policies, Methods and Tools for Visitor Management. 2004 Jun

A review of wolf predation in southern Europe: does the wolf prefer wild prey to livestock?. Meriggi A, Lovari S. Journal of applied ecology. 1996 Dec

The trophic ecology of wolves and their predatory role in ungulate communities of forest ecosystems in Europe
H Okarma – Acta theriologica, 1995






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