Nature today | live with wolves

How excited is the wolf?

The fact that seeing a wolf is exciting is mainly due to the stories that have surrounded us for centuries. In tales and fairy tales, the wolf does not do well. It’s no coincidence that we talk about “Little Red Riding Hood Syndrome”: a story-fueled (but not fact-based) fear of the wolf. It is no longer easy to trace what it was like in the Middle Ages, but there are many countries in Europe, such as Italy, Spain and Sweden, where wolves have always shared landscapes with humans. In these countries, a more realistic approach to wolves is not lost: it is clear that measures have been taken to protect livestock and other animals at risk. For many, the presence of large predators is part of their admiration and admiration for nature. In fact, accidents, or even dramas, between a wolf and a human are almost non-existent, while at the same time we accept other, more real dangers without even frowning.

So we should not be afraid of the wolf himself. The wolf himself is very afraid of humans for that. However, we must protect our livestock, especially our sheep, better than we are used to. Animal owners are obligated, both morally and legally, to protect their pets from predators, for example by appropriate fencing. This happens in more and more places, but unfortunately not everywhere.

protect your animals

A herd of wolves is such an exciting sight that even seeing a single wolf is nothing short of amazing to many. It is unpleasant to face animals that have been killed by a wolf. There are proven effective measures that can be applied (whether combined or not). There are specialists who can advise on this. After all, it all starts with really good information, especially when it comes to animals where myths and assumptions lead to a lot of misunderstanding. Prior to this, Wolven was established in the Netherlands as a reliable source of factual information about wolves. People responsible for livestock and other animals are increasingly finding their way to practical measures.

Herd protection dogs are one effective measure you can take as a herd manager.  More and more experience available

Illustration projects

The demonstration projects in Overijssel, Limburg and Brabant are a collaboration between ARK, Van Bommel Faunawerk and Canine Efficiency and were created with the support of the counties. Herd protection dogs and wolf-resistant night swarms (with electric nets) are used for this. Many sheep breeders wonder how they can build an affordable lily cradle that provides farm animals with adequate safety, prevents stress between animals and at the same time meets requirements in terms of landscape integrity and municipal regulations. For wolf-proof electrical networks, a height of 1.2 m is recommended for both fixed and mobile networks. The latest ideas are used in illustrative projects. An example is Turofladry, a live wire flutter tape, which already has a lot of experience with in the United States.

ARK, Van Bommel Faunawerk and Canine Efficiency all have a lot of experience with herd protection dogs, acquired in the Netherlands and abroad. There are more and more sheep herders and nature managers who are (satisfactorily) using special sheep protection dogs. It also shows how floating dogs such as the border collie and herd protection dogs can work well together. It also appears that these dogs can be put to good use in herds in places where many recreational enthusiasts come. ARK believes it is important to clarify the use of herd protection dogs for anyone who keeps animals vulnerable to predation by wolves (and dogs, jackals and other predators).

The mobile electric grid is a proven effective way to deter wolves and can also be used with flutter strips or a 'Turbo Flared'

more information

  • On you will find more information about living with wolves.
  • The BIJ12 website has more information on other regulations that exist about the wolf or on how to report whether animals have been attacked by a wolf (or an alleged wolf).
  • Do you just want to enjoy the beautiful animal which is the wolf? And you also know something that works for her? Then watch WOLF in the coming weeks. And what better place to do it than in the cinema!

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Text: Lars Soerink and Leo Linnartz, ARK Nature Development
Images: Karsten Reiners, ARK Nature Development; Gelderland County; Ray Dorgello, Efficiency of Dogs
Drawing: Jeroen Helmer
Film: M&N Media Group

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