The wolves have come back to yet another part of Europe – Catalonia

2011 - 04 - 21
The wolves have come back to yet another part of Europe – Catalonia

This is the first time after eighty years that wolves have appeared again in the Catalonia region in Spain. Footprint tracks were recently discovered just forty kilometers from Barcelona.

In the past, the wolves had never ventured as close to the metropolis of Catalonia as they have done this time. The very first appearance of this species in this part of the country – after several decades of absence – was recorded in 2004.

Much to the experts´surprise, the wolves came from the Italian region of Abruzzo and not from other parts of Spain as the experts would expect. It took them less than twenty years to come across the Alps and southern France to the Pyrenees. Between 2004 and 2007 wolves in Catalonia killed around 85 sheep. At the time, the owners of the sheep were indemnified by local government.

In Spain, wolves prevail mainly in the north-western part of the country. The antagonism of cattle farmers living in the Basque Country and other regions kept the wolves back, not allowing them to spread further east into Catalonia. This is why it is highly assumed that the wolves had travelled across from faraway Italy.

Currently there are about 60,000 wolves in Europe. Most of them – around 45,000 – is inhabiting various parts of Russia and Belarus. There are up to 2,300 wolves living on the Iberian Peninsula, 500 wolves live in Italy.

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