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First wolf reproduction in Austria since 19th century

First wolf reproduction in Austria since 19th century

Author: John Linnell/Friday, August 26, 2016/Categories: Gallery

A camera trap has documented the first evidence of wolves breeding in Austria in more than 100 years. The camera trap image shows wolf pups walking along a forest road. It was taken in the Allentsteig Natura 2000 site in northeastern Austria. The site also happens to be military training area.

Wolves were exterminated in Austria in 1882, when the last individualw as killed in the region of Styria. However, since 2009 some individual wolves have been detected in Austria each year. This is largely due to the expansion of populations in neighbouring countries. Genetic analysis has shown that the wolves arriving in Austria come from at least 3 directions, including the Alps to the west, the Dinaric Mountains to the south, and Slovakia to the east. Until now, all the wolves detected in Austria have either been shown to have travelled onwards, or have disappeared. 

This new reproduction offers hope for the re-esatblishment of a connection between these three major European populations which have been seperated from each other for many decades. It also underlines the importance of military training areas as arenas for wildlife conservation. Wolves in Germany have also been shown to take advantage of the seclusion which military lands offer.

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