Protection status

On the European level the wolf belongs to the strictly protected animal species. As early as 1979 it was included in the Bern Convention - a nature conservation agreement of all European countries. The Fauna-Flora-Habitat Directive of the European Union (Habitats Directive, 92/43/EEC) provides for the implementation of special protection measures such as the preparation and implementation of "management plans" and the establishment of special protection areas for the wolf. The deliberate disturbance, capture or killing as well as other impairments of wolves are prohibited.

In the GDR the wolf was a huntable species, which was released for shooting all year round from 1984 onwards. Since reunification in 1990, the wolf has enjoyed the highest possible protection under the Federal Nature Conservation Act. Until the end of the 1990s, some federal states still had the wolf as a huntable species with a year-round closed season. Subsequently, it was subject only to the nature conservation law for more than 10 years in the whole federal territory. Since September 2012 the state of Saxony is the only federal state to have additional hunting rights, but without hunting season. Responsible for the wolf are the technical and enforcement authorities of the federal states.

In Poland the wolf is not a huntable species and has been a protected species since 1998. Exceptional permission to kill wolves is granted in special cases, if wolves repeatedly kill farm animals despite protective measures.

The deliberate killing of a wolf is a criminal offence in Germany and is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to 5 years. For the accidental shooting down the legislator provides a fine or a prison sentence up to 6 months. Furthermore, consequences under hunting law such as the withdrawal of the hunting license or a ban on hunting are possible.