Ivan

 

Big Bad Wolf or Big Bad Reputation?

For a long time, wolves had been wiped out in Germany, now they are slowly getting back home. But not everyone is happy at the return of the wild animal. The feeding habits of Canis lupus are the subject of many legends and fables. Wolves that tear sheep apart, eat household pets and even attack people -- the return of the predators to German regions awakens fear and generates conflict amongst its inhabitants, hunters and farmers.

"The dietary habits of wolves has been the greatest point of contention with their return to Germany and it induced us to examine in closer detail the feeding habits of the wolves that migrated to Lusatia over ten years ago," explains Hermann Ansorge, head of the Zoology Department at the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History in Görlitz. "We took a look at what was on the menu for the wolves and how this has changed since the appearance of wolves in East Germany."

For this purpose the scientists collected over 3000 samples of wolf scat and tested them for undigested evidence of the animals' prey, such as hair, bones, hooves or teeth.

Using this information, supplemented by the findings of the remains of prey, it was possible for the Görlitz zoologists to determine the nutritional intake of the carnivores in detail. Wild ungulates accounted for over 96% of the wolves' prey, according to the investigation. The majority of these were roe deer (55.3%), followed by red deer (20.8%) and wild boar (17.7%). A small proportion of the prey was accounted for by the hare, at almost 3 percent.

"Less than one percent of the prey analysed was of livestock origins" adds Ansorge, continuing: "As long as sheep and other livestock are well protected and there is a sufficient supply of wild animals, the wolves will not risk confrontation with electric fences and guardian dogs."

Comments

November 17, 2012 @07:46 am
by — emily

sorry, didn't relize it was aready there

November 17, 2012 @07:44 am
by — emily

I agree.You really can't be a dog lover but a wolf hater.There wouldn't even be dogs without wolves so if you are a wolf hater your saying you hate dogs in a way.I'd like to hear what thoughts are.

November 17, 2012 @07:10 am
by — emily

I agree.You really can't be a dog lover but a wolf hater.There wouldn't even be dogs without wolves so if you are a wolf hater your saying you hate dogs in a way.I'd like to hear what thoughts are.

March 20, 2012 @09:57 pm
by — Ivan

Of course wolves have been misunderstood. I know what it's like to be misunderstood too, believe me. I'm the dog that causes women to snatch their children off the ground and run away. I understand that my mouth and teeth are rather frightening and don't blame people for being afraid, but I don't mean any harm. I never do. I feel especially bad for wolves and their undeserved reputation. Wolves are coming back to the North Cascades which is where I live, and while many people are excited, some of the ranchers are freaking out. A pack of wolves was w even poached last year over near Winthrop by some rancher and I'm sure glad he was caught! Why do some people hate wolves so much? How can a wolf hater be a dog lover? I'd really like to know your thoughts on this.

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