New Wolf Pack on the Sequoia, and WaPo Story on German Wolves

Apparently a third wolf pack in California has been confirmed on the Sequoia National Forest. Here’s a news story.

The WaPo had an interesting story titled “Wolves, once confined to fairy tales, are back in Germany, stirring debate.”

The spread of wolves — through Germany and into Belgium, the Netherlands and beyond — has become an issue at the highest levels of the European Union. Last fall, it touched a personal nerve for European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, when a wolf killed her pony outside her home in northwest Germany. She wrote later that the E.U.’s executive body recognizes “that the return of the wolf and its growing numbers lead to conflict.”

At a local level, the conflict pits farmers against conservationists. People on both sides have been accused of taking matters into their own hands: Hunting shelters have been burned down and wolves have been illegally shot and dismembered.


As the wolf population has grown, attacks have become more frequent. There have been 216 in Lower Saxony so far this year — killing 601 animals — compared to 174 attacks in the same seven-month period last year. Across Germany, 4,366 farm animals were killed by wolves in 2022, including 30 horses and four llamas. That marked a 30 percent rise from the year before.

“It’s emotional,” Jahnke said. “It really makes you crazy.”

The protection of wolves is enshrined in E.U. law, though last year the European Parliament passed a nonbinding resolution calling for a downgrade. The European Commission, which would oversee such a change, is conducting an analysis.

E.U. member states have split into camps over the issue, with environment ministers from a dozen countries — including Germany — arguing against any weakening of protections; while Austria, Finland, Sweden and Norway have tested the teeth of existing protections by allowing recent wolf culls.

For now, Germany only allows a wolf to be shot if it’s deemed a particular nuisance to livestock. After each attack, a DNA swab is taken from the dead animal to find out which wolf was responsible. If a wolf is found to have jumped electric fences or gotten past protection dogs twice, a special shooting permit can be granted.


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