Video: Young wolves spotted in the Beskydy Mountains, first confirmed breeding

A wolf pack on the Czech side of the Polish border has bred new members

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 20.08.2020 11:00 (updated on 20.08.2020)

The wolf pack that settled in the Beskydy Mountains near the Czech-Polish border a few years ago gave birth to baby wolves this spring. This is the first confirmed breeding of wolves in this area since their return.

Another area where the breeding of wolves has been confirmed is the Javorníky mountains, where wolf cubs were monitored last year. The information in both cases was obtained thanks to the monitoring by the environmental group the Hnutí Duha.

The public can also help if they spot wolves, but they should be sure to keep a safe distance.

“In the coming months, we will follow the movement of wolf families in the Silesian Beskydy and Javorníky in detail. We also welcome information about the movement of wolves and other large carnivores from the public to the e-mail stopy@selmy.cz,” Michal Bojda, coordinator of the Beskydy monitoring of large carnivores for Hnutí Duha, said.

Wolves now occur on both sides of the Czech-Polish border in Silesia. “Wolves have been appearing on the Polish side of the Silesian range of the Beskydy Mountains since 1995, shortly after the wolf as a species became strictly protected throughout Poland. In the Silesian Beskydy Mountains, there are currently at least two breeding packs on the Polish side,” Robert Mysłajek from the association Wilk, which has long been involved in wolf research in Poland, said.

People working in agriculture in the areas with wolf packs will need to secure their land better than they had in the past, when there was less of a threat from wild animals.

The occurrence of wolves in the area between Třinec and Jablunkov in the Frýdek-Místek district of the Moravia-Silesia region has been accompanied by an increase in attacks on sheep since the spring months. Most damage occurred on insufficiently secured pastures, according to Hnutí Duha. Farmers in some circumstances can get compensation for their losses.

beskydy wolf
Young wolf in the Silesian Beskydy Mountains / via Michal Bojda, Hnutí Duha Olomouc

“The occurrence of the wolf pack in the Silesian Beskydy region is a great challenge for nature protection and local livestock breeders. Wolves have a varied mosaic of surroundings, from quiet, densely wooded places to urban or frequently visited by tourists. Unfortunately, there is damage to farms, especially sheep. I consider the most important aspect for the possible coexistence of wolves and humans to be good information to the local public and the provision of advice and possible assistance to breeders for the best possible security of livestock,” Jiří Labuda, a field worker for Hnutí Duha Olomou in the Silesian Beskydy Mountains, said.

Roman Cieslar, a sheep breeder from Bystřice nad Olší, said that the presence of the wolf population in his area forced him to take steps to protect the sheep he breeds. “To prevent large-scale attacks by large carnivores, I have improved the system of electric fences and I perform daily night placement of sheep in the enclosure with herding dogs. The bred sheep are slowly getting used to the presence of our shepherd shepherds and are thus better protected against the possible attack of predators,” he said.

Wolves were thought to be completely absent from the Czech Republic since it was established in 1993. The first wolf was spotted on camera in the country 2012, and evidence of the first pack a few years later.

In 2019, there were an estimated 18 wolf habitats in the Czech Republic, an increase of two since the previous year.

Wolf packs feed primarily on red and roe deer, and to a lesser extent wild boars, mouflon and fallow deer.