The LIFE WILD WOLF project seeks a balance between wolves and humans in Europe's cultural landscapes

14. 3. 2023

Understanding the interactions between humans and wolves in the cultural European landscape and preventing potential critical situations is the aim of a unique international project launched by Mendel University in Brno. A large multidisciplinary team of eighteen partners is involved. It includes universities, state institutions and NGOs dealing with the environment or hunting. A team from MENDELU, led by Miroslav Kutal, will be in charge of coordinating the project in the Czech Republic.

With the help of LIFE WILD WOLF, unified procedures and recommendations for managing conflicts between wolves and humans will be developed, tested and evaluated for effectiveness and efficiency. Intervention teams will be established in some countries, including the Czech Republic, to address potentially risky situations and share experiences and appropriate practices. It also includes research into potentially risky behaviour in wolves and how risky behaviour can be defined in the first place.

Wolves now live all over Europe, including some densely populated areas such as Italy and Germany. Encounters between humans and wolves are therefore understandably becoming more frequent, including in the Czech Republic. For the inhabitants of some regions, encounters with wolves are something completely new, and they are understandably fearful of them. However, other wild animals have inhabited our cultural landscape for a long time. Together with our foreign collaborators, we will try to describe these situations and assess how risky they are and intervene in time in case of dangerous situations. We have experienced veterinarians in our team and we will also coordinate the procedure with the State Agency for Nature and Landscape Protection of the Czech Republic,” Miroslav Kutal from the Institute of Forest Ecology of the LDF MENDELU introduced the project.

The presence of wild animals in the immediate vicinity of human settlements is a common phenomenon in many EU countries and is becoming increasingly frequent. And it increasingly leads to critical situations of perceived or real danger. Few EU countries are prepared to deal with such situations using clear and tested procedures. The LIFE WILD WOLF project is focusing on just such procedures, by testing as many cases as possible. The project focuses on the wolf population, which is generally growing in Europe, but most of the procedures can be applied to other wildlife species. A broad international team will allow for the analysis of a large number of cases, sharing experiences and best practices.

The team at Mendel University in Brno has many years of experience in monitoring, management and protection of wolves in the Czech Republic. “Direct encounters between wolves and humans remain relatively rare despite increasing numbers, but it is important to monitor and describe all cases. It is not desirable that wolves lose their functional ecological role by gaining too much trust in the human environment. This is what our project should prevent,” Kutal added.

The five-year project, coordinated by the Italian Institute of Applied Ecology in Rome, will be implemented in eight EU countries (Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Greece, Slovenia and Sweden), which include seven of the nine known European wolf populations. The project is co-financed by the European Union and the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic under the LIFE programme. The public can support the project by reporting their own wolf sightings, for example to

Contact for further information. Miroslav Kutal, Ph.D., +420 728 832 889,, Department of Forest Ecology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno

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