11 different wolves spotted in Flanders in last two years

11 different wolves spotted in Flanders in last two years
Th efirst photos taken in daylight of wolf Noëlla © IMBO/Natuur en Bos

From 2018 until now, 11 different wolves have been identified in Flanders, according to the coding of the International Wolf Consortium.

Apart from the by now famous Belgian wolves August and Noëlla, several other wolves are present in the region, according to the Institute for Nature and Forest Research (INBO).

To assess observation data and to translate them into the "prevention and dispersal" of wolves, internationally accepted reliability criteria are used.

Based on these criteria, 11 wolves were spotted, Flemish Minister for Environment Zuhal Demir responded to a parliamentary question.

In addition to the wolf Naya, killed by hunters, the wolf pair August and Noëlla and their four young, another four identified stray wolves passed through Flanders, she said.

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The number of reports of dead animals, possibly linked to wolves, has also risen recently. Not long ago, an adult cow was bitten to death, and a total of 20 cases of damage have already been reported this year (from 1 January to 6 July),. solely in the provinces of Limburg, Antwerp and Flemish Brabant.

DNA results are known for 15 of these cases, showing that 8 were caused by a wolf, 5 by a dog and 2 died of natural causes.

For five of the most recent damage cases, DNA analysis is not complete yet, but based on findings on-site, four of them were likely caused by a wolf.

"We need to keep our finger on the pulse when it comes to wolf damage. It is therefore crucial to have a clear view of their number," said Flemish liberal MP Steven Coenegrachts.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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