Having disappeared from Wallonia at the end of the 19th century, the wolf could be returning there, bearing in mind that wolves are present in the Vosges mountains in France as well as in the Hesse hills in Germany and that they move frequently and quickly. Four serious indications indicating a migration of the wolf into Walloon territory have been discovered to date. In order to prepare and supervise the return of this protected species, the public service of Wallonia has set up a Wolf Network, announced René Collin, the Walloon Minister of Nature, on Thursday.
This network is made up of officials from the public service of Wallonia, scientists (University of Liège) and representatives of hunters, naturalists and sheep-and-goat breeders. “The objective of this Task Force is to observe, collect and validate data, ensure the training of persons involved, disseminate information and raise awareness because, contrary to what one might think, the wolf is not primarily a dangerous animal”, said Minister Collin, pointing out that the wolf will be added to the category of species for which damage is compensated for by the Wallonia public service.
Even if no DNA analysis has so far confirmed the possible return of the wolf to Wallonia, it is nevertheless to be expected sooner or later, “in both the East and the South”, says Alain Licoppe, coordinator of the Wolf Network. “The wolf is unpredictable in its choice of locations. It is an opportunistic species that is capable of adapting itself”, he adds. “There are no reports of any attacks on human beings in Europe. It is a fearful animal, which prefers to avoid confrontation.”
Citizens are invited to assist experts in their task by indicating their findings via an online form (www.reseauloup.be).