The Netherlands is now home to 9 packs of wild wolves

The Netherlands is now home to 9 packs of wild wolves

The Netherlands is currently home to nine wolf packs living in the wild, according to figures released by BIJ12, the agency that handles wolf cases for Dutch provinces and municipalities. Though wolves have not been native to the Netherlands for around a century, recent years have seen wolves move into the country from neighbouring nations. Now experts believe there to have been at least 39 wolf cubs born in the Netherlands this year.

Dozens of wolves living in the Dutch countryside

According to BIJ12, there are dozens of wolves around the Dutch countryside. Each pack is made up of a pair of wolves with some young cubs. There are seven packs on the Veluwe, and two more packs in the Central-Drenthe and Drenthe-Friesland regions.

It is difficult for experts to track the wolves to accurately monitor their numbers, though. Since there are not many traces that wolves are active in different regions, it is not possible to track the DNA of each of the wolves to keep an eye on where different packs are active. 

Mixed response to growing number of wolves in the Netherlands

The growing number of wolves in the Netherlands has received a mixed reception from Dutch residents. On the one hand, many people are pleased that the wolves have returned to the country after a century-long absence, and are happy to see new creatures exploring Dutch national parks and beauty spots. 

On the other hand, the Netherlands is an agricultural powerhouse, and wolves pose a problem to cattle farmers. In the months between May and August 2023, livestock were reportedly attacked 65 times in Drenthe - only 12 times were the attacks determined to be from dogs, while 41 cases were attributed to wolf attacks.

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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