December 18, 2020 – The last wolf was seen in the late 50s or early 60s, but during November, the wolf was again seen on Papuk. Based on the guard service footage, the Papuk Nature Park authorities are sure that this endangered species has returned to their area.
According to the report from the Papuk Nature Park, although the wolf has not been spotted so far, this video is real proof that Papuk is the place where the wolf returned. Recently, there were only stories about the wolf’s appearance, but now this has been confirmed by numerous experts.
‘The wolf does not pose a danger’
To explore the terrain and start monitoring the signs of wolf’s appearance, the Papuk Nature Park Guard Service, experts from the Institute for Environmental Protection and Nature of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb organized the first field trip. They determined how conservationists, foresters, and hunters will monitor, record, and store all signs that would indicate the wolf’s presence.
“After we unequivocally proved the presence of wolves in the Park, we conducted interviews with almost all users of this space. We explained to them that wolves’ appearance is not unexpected, but also the most important thing at this moment, that it does not pose a danger to a wildlife fund, nor to cattle breeders. Earlier speculations about the damage to livestock in the wider area around Papuk proved to be wrong because it was not wolf attacks, but dogs that were unattended wandering the area,” said Alen Jurenac, the director of the Park.
Jackal and wolf easy to mistake
As it is important to monitor the wolves’ appearance, a meeting was organized in Jankovac on the premises of the Papuk Nature Park. They discussed the fauna present in the area, and especially the jackal population that records healthy and strong individuals, very often highly trophy in a shooting.
They also concluded that the wild animal population (deer and roe deer) is in excellent condition. Fear was expressed since the jackal and wolf are very easy to mistake, so that the wolf could die in this hunting season. Therefore, regular information on implemented and planned activities in the field is proposed.
The Park points out that they informed all hunting associations in the area about the wolf’s appearance, and they also conducted a field tour of the Park area and hunting grounds, especially the location of the wolf snapshot. They also agreed on a future common way of monitoring them and selecting suitable sites for setting photo traps.
There are probably more of them
The last wolf in the Papuk area was shot in the late ’50s or early ’60s.
“All these years, there have been stories that the wolf was seen somewhere, but there was never any evidence. Our footage is the best proof of how the wolf re-settled on Papuk. Whether it is about him as an individual or there are more of them, it is quite debatable. It can be seen that he is younger, about a year old, and that he is playful. Given that wolves remain in the pack until the second year of life, because they are only then sexually mature, it is to be assumed that several other individuals did not enter the frame,” Jurenac told Večernji list.
They set ten photo traps to keep a closer eye on him.
“Of course, the footage is not the only evidence, we are also looking at the traces the wolf leaves behind, and we are waiting for the leaves to fall off completely, so we will be able to follow them more easily. The wolf is strictly protected, and his return to Papuk is positive news,” concluded Jurenac.
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