Wolves return to Czech Republic

According to recently published information, a wolf image was captured using photocamera trap in Northern Bohemia, Czech Republic. The feared animal was crossing a wooded clearing in a former military training area, about hundred years after the predator disappeared from the area. It is the first evidence of the Wolves return to the Czech Republic.

“The return of wolves in northern Bohemia has been anticipated for years. In recent years, the wolves showed in the Giant Šluknovsko or where they came from Saxony. There were trustworthy proves of wolf using crossing the Czech-German border in the autumn of 2012. The territory of our border Mountains and military space provides sufficient space to life for the wolves. It was just a matter of time before the establish pack again in Czech Republic”

says Miroslav Kutal, an expert on the protection of large carnivores from Hnuti Duha, one of our partner NGOs.

Wolf image captured by camera trap in Northern Bohemia, Czech Republic
Wolf image captured by camera trap in Northern Bohemia, Czech Republic

The return of the wolves is a process, which should be further encouraged. Wolves play an important ecological role through for instance regulating the deer population. However there are evidences from other countries such as for instance Spain that the species draw tourists to the area. Our friends at Hnuti Duha are of course concerned though of the arrival of poachers.

Our Society was very glad to hear about the successful comeback of wolves to Czech Republic. We sincerely hope that this process won’t stop at the return of one single adult, but will eventually lead to spreading the species across the country.”

adds Zoltan Kun, Chairman of the European Wilderness Society.

More information about Hnuti Duha’s work on the return of the Wolves to Czech Republic is here.

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5 thoughts on “Wolves return to Czech Republic

  1. Dear Mr. Zoltan Kun,

    Thank you for your answer.
    Here it is a link to the project Monitoring of Large Carnivores in SCI Beskydy (in Czech language):

    With wild and warm regards

    Pavel Reich
    chairman of ngo FOREST – Research and Protection of Wilderness

  2. Dear Mr. Reich,
    We are glad of receiving comments and guiding our attention to professional conservation projects. We will of course call the attention of Hnuti Duha to your comment and we hope to receive a response, which will of course be posted here
    Our society is glad to cooperate with conservation professionals who share our vision of more wilderness in Europe.
    We will be in touch, Wild regards, Zoltan KUN

  3. Dear Peter,
    Thank for this additional information. Indeed it is clear that there is not yet an established wolf pack. We hope there will soon be at least one. Zoltan

  4. Dear friends of wolves,

    You should know that Hnuti DUHA and Miroslav Kutal have nothing in common with the return of wolves to Bohemia. Wolves are coming to Ralsko (northern part of Bohemia) thanks to the conservation of wolves in Germany. It is shameful how Hnuti DUHA try to use this information as their own success. Hnuti DUHA is a very controversial organization in the Czech Republic. They steal data and copyrights of other organizations and persons. Members of Hnuti DUHA intentionally disrupted a professional project “Monitoring of Large Carnivores in SCI Beskydy”. Not only for this they were excluded from the professional project. You can obtain some information about those controversial activities of Hnutí DUHA from management of the project “Monitoring of Large Carnivores in SCI Beskydy”. You can contact Institute for Vertebrate Biology Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic or CSOP Salamandr.
    Hnuti DUHA totally failed in the conservation of large carnivores in the Czech Republic.

  5. I am currently in Czech Republic and we heard about this camera trap recording – but it needs a bit of perspective! The news thus far does not mean an established pack or even breeding of a couple, as wolves are constantly on the move over great distances. We were in the Czech zone of Beskady Mtns on the Slovak border last month – and the mountain chalet had amazing photos of wolves at a carcass, also from a camera trap, but in daytime – within the state boundary, but not breeding.

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Join more 100+ forest experts demanding a radical change in German forestry management.

Sign the Open Letter to the German Federal Minister of Forestry and Agriculture

Open Letter to the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture

Federal Ministry of
Food and Agriculture
Minister Julia Klöckner
11055 Berlin

Dear Minister Klöckner,

The current situation of the forest in Germany is worrying. It is a forest crisis not only driven by climate change. The current crisis management of the forestry industry is backward-looking and harmful to the forest. The declaration announced at the meeting of ministers in Moritzburg can be described as a `Moritzburg declaration of bankruptcy´. We call on the state forestry industry to, instead of expensive rushed actions, finally carry out an expert analysis of its own work and to involve all stakeholders in this process. What is called for is a consistent departure from plantation forestry and a radical shift towards a management that treats the forest as an ecosystem and no longer as a wood factory.

On 1stAugust 2019, five forestry ministers of CDU and CSU-led states adopted a so-called “master plan” for the forest in Germany, which was affected by heat, bark beetles, fire and drought. As of 2020, the federal government is to make 800 million euros available as a reaction to climate change. This money is to be used to repair the damage caused, reforest the damaged areas and carry out `climate-adapted´ forest conversion – including the use of non-native tree species that have not yet been cultivated in the forest. Research should therefore focus on on tree species suitability and forest plant breeding in the future – keyword: `Climate-adapted forest of the future 2100´.

Remarkably, the damage caused primarily by the extreme drought of 2018 is attributed solely to climate change. Climate change is meeting a forest that is systemically ill due to the planting of non-native tree species, species poverty, monocultures, uniform structure, average low age, mechanical soil compaction, drainage etc. A healthy, resistant forest would look differently! The master plan emphasizes: sustainable, multifunctional and `active´ forest management remains indispensable – and thereby means that its unnatural state cannot be changed. Reference is made to the `carbon storage and substitution effects´ of wood products. The use of wood, e.g. in the construction industry, should be increased and thus the demand for wood should be further fueled – while knowing that the forest in Germany already cannot meet this demand. In fact, forest owners are suffering from poor timber prices due to an oversupply of trunk wood on the world market.

All these demands make clear: the current forestry strategy, which has been practiced for decades, should not change in principle. The concept is simple: cut down trees – plant trees. At best, the `design´ of the future artificial forests consisting of perfectly calculated tree species mixtures, that are believed to survive climate change without damages, can be changed. In all seriousness, the intention is to continue selling the public a so-called `future strategy´ to save the forest. This strategy seamlessly follows the model of a wood factory, that is met with general rejection and must be regarded as a failure in view of the coniferous plantations that are currently collapsing on a large scale. An essential part of the forests that have currently died is exactly the part that was reestablished in 1947 as coniferous monocultures on a much larger area than today. There is only one difference to the situation at the time: considerable amounts of money are to be made available from taxes for forest owners this time.

Climate change is progressing, and this, without a doubt, has massive impacts on all terrestrial ecosystems, including forests. To pretend that the last two years of drought alone caused the disaster is too cheap. On closer inspection, the disaster is also the result of decades of a forestry focused on conifers – in a country that was once naturally dominated by mixed deciduous forests. People do not like to admit that for more than 200 years they have relied on the wrong species of commercial tree (spruce) and have also created artificial, ecologically highly unstable and thus high-risk forest ecosystems. A whole branch of business has become dependent on coniferous wood. And now the German coniferous timber industry is on the verge of bankruptcy.

It would only have been honest and also a sign of political greatness if you and the forestry ministers in Moritzburg had declared: Yes, our forestry industry has made mistakes in the past, and yes, we are ready for a relentless analysis that takes into account not only purely silvicultural, but also forest-ecological aspects. Instead, you have confined yourselves to pre-stamped excuses that are already familiar to everyone and that lack any self-critical reflection.

Clear is: We finally need resting periods for the forest in Germany, which has been exploited for centuries. We need a new, ecologically oriented concept for future forest – not a hectic `forest conversion´, but simply forest development closer towards nature. This gives the forest as an ecosystem the necessary leeway to self-regulate and react to the emerging environmental changes. We need a systemic forest management that is no less profitable than the present one, but must be substantially more stable and resistant to foreseeable environmental changes. The aid for forest owners that all citizens are now required to pay through their taxes is only politically justified in the interest of common good, if the forests of the future that are being promoted by it, do not end up in the next disaster, some of which is produced by the forest management itself.

That is why the signatories request from the the Federal Government, and in particular you, Mrs Klöckner, a master plan worthy of the name:

On disaster areas (mainly in public forests!) reestablishment through natural forest development (ecological succession), among other things with pioneer tree species, is to be brought about. In private forests, ecological succession for reestablishment must be purposefully promoted. Larger bare areas should be planted with a maximum of 400 to 600 large plants of native species per hectare in order to permit ecological succession parallelly.
To promote ecological succession, the areas should no longer be completely and mechanically cleared; as much wood as possible should be left in the stand (to promote optimum soil and germ bed formation, soil moisture storage and natural protection against browsing). In private forests, the abandonment of use in disaster areas should be specifically promoted for ecological reasons and in order to relieve the burden on the timber market.

Regarding the promotion of reestablishment plantings in private forests: priority for native tree species (of regional origin); choose wide planting distances in order to leave enough space for the development of pioneer species. For the forests of the future: Minimize thinning (low-input principle), build up stocks through targeted development towards old thick trees, protect the inner forest climate / promote self-cooling function (should have highest priority due to rapidly progressing climate change!), prohibit heavy machinery, refrain from further road construction and expansion, permit and promote natural self-regulatory development processes in the cultivated forest and on (larger) separate areas in the sense of an compound system; drastically reduce the density of ungulate game (reform of hunting laws).

Like in the field of organic agriculture, which has been established since the 1980s, the crisis of our forests should be the reason today to transform at least two existing forestry-related universities. They should be turned into universities for interdisciplinary forest ecosystem management. This is a contribution not only to the further development of forestry science and silviculture in Germany, but also of global importance! The goal must be to produce wood through largely natural forest production and to start with it here in Germany, the birthplace of forestry.

Motto: SYSTEMIC FOREST ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT INSTEAD OF WOOD FACTORY

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