Concept for dealing with wolves that show unusual behaviour towards humans
Wolves have been absent in Germany for a long time. In areas where the wolf has recently returned, we must learn step by step how to deal with this animal. Many people are uncertain regarding the evaluation of wolf behaviour: What is normal, and what is unusual behaviour? Does the wolf pose a threat to humans? Is it necessary to make safety arrangements in areas populated by wolves?
One of DBBW’s tasks was to develop a concept for dealing with wolves that show unusual behaviour towards humans. To do so, DBBW has included expertise from the Swedish Wildlife Damage Centre colleagues (Viltskade Centre VCS), who have the widest experience in Europe in dealing with large carnivores that show unusual behaviour.
The concept, which is now completed, deals with assessing wolf behaviour in the context of human safety and gives recommendations on how to deal with wolves that show unusual behaviour. In the concept, unusual behaviour is defined as unexpected, undesirable, or problematic behaviour of wolves towards humans. The recommendations mainly address the responsible authorities in the federal states, who are placed in the position to assess wolf behaviour in the context of human safety and to prepare possible actions.
Aims of the recommendation are a) that humans in Germany are not injured or killed by wolves, b) that people in areas of wolf occurrence trust in the wolf management and keep that trust in the future, c) that their fear of wolves does not increase and d), that wolves are enabled to further spread across Germany without causing severe conflicts with humans.
The “Empfehlung zum Umgang mit auffälligen Wölfen” (concept on how to deal with bold wolves, in German) was completed in summer 2018 and was published as BfN monograph no. 502. It can be downloaded below.