Since February 2019, experts spoke of the first settled wolf in The Netherlands after 150 years of absence. A remarkable achievement, displaying the natural resilience to ever changing environments and human impact. Many people did not expect that wolves would find a place in The Netherlands. It is after all a densely populated country, with highly fragmented nature. But nature keeps surprising us, as now appears that a first wolf pair has formed.
Please also read: Wolf officially settled in the Netherlands
The Veluwe wolf pair
One of the best natural habitats in The Netherlands is the Veluwe. It is centrally located, a mosaic of forest and open landscapes. Many ungulates, such as roe and red deer, as well as wild boar live there. Two parts of the Veluwe are National Parks. The director of one of the National Park however is strongly against the return of the wolf. In public statements, the National Park director claims that the wolf may return to The Netherlands, as long as it is not to this specific National Park. Declaring such wolf-free zones is however practically not feasible, as international examples demonstrate.
The wolves however, seem not to pay much attention to this. The first female wolf appeared on the Veluwe already back in July 2018. Researchers and volunteers have tried to monitor the behaviour of the wolf with camera traps intensively. And with result, as the latest camera traps now show a wolf pair on the Veluwe. Both wolves originate from German wolf packs.
First wolf pack this year?
The big question is, whether the wolf pair was able to produce offspring this year. There is a chance, but evidence is still lacking. If so, mating took place in January or February, after which wolves give birth around April. The female wolf then spends much time with the new cubs for a couple of weeks.
The experts are closely monitoring the wolves on the Veluwe, and hope to come with an answer soon. Until then, many of the visitors that specifically come to catch a glimpse of the wolves have to be patient.