Dutch wolf population set to grow six times larger than expected

Dutch wolf population set to grow six times larger than expected

Research by Wageningen University & Research, commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, has found that the number of wolf packs expected to be roaming the country in the future is six times higher than previous estimates. The research undertaken by the Dutch university suggests that as many as 56 packs of wolves could come to call the Netherlands home in the future.

Between 23 and 56 packs of wolves could soon live in the Netherlands

The wolf's habitat is expanding in the Netherlands, and so too is their population. Wolves were spotted in the Netherlands for the first time in 2015, and since then have been seen more frequently across many national parks and wild areas of the Dutch countryside. 

The north and east of the Netherlands is a particularly attractive habitat for wolves in the Netherlands, the researchers say. In total, they think that there could be as many as 23 to 56 Dutch wolf packs spread across the entire country in the future.

Researchers are unsure whether the Netherlands will continue to house so many wolves

The researchers are unsure if the wolves will stay in the Netherlands. "That depends on all kinds of factors. How many young do they have? Do they end up on the highway, do they move to Belgium?" ecologist Dennis Lammertsma of Wageningen University & Research, who co-authored the study, told NOS

The wolves will also have to find new places to live, say the researchers. According to maps produced by the study, we "can also expect wolf packs outside nature reserves such as the Veluwe, the Drents-Friese Wold and the Utrechtse Heuvelrug," says Glenn Lelieveld, coordinator of the wolf reporting centre of the Mammal Society. “These results are broadly consistent with my 2014 study, in which I predicted about 59 packs.”



Emily Proctor

Former Editor at IamExpat Media.

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