Wolf Revival Linked to German Militaryadmin
According to new research published in Conservation Letters the German wolf population has an unexpected ally – the military.
A team of researchers the German Institute for Wolf Monitoring and Research in Spreewitz, Germany have been monitoring the progress of the wolf revival over the last two decades. They calculated wolf population growth rates between 2000 and 2015/16 while also tracking wolf mortality rates over the same time period and collecting information on wolf territory types, “categorized as either ‘protected area’, ‘military training area’, or ‘other’,” according to IFLScience.com.
Their study found that growth in the wolf population increased, on average, 36% year-on-year. They also found that 16 out of the total 79 territory establishments occurred in military training areas (MTAs). (9 occurred in protected areas and the remaining 54 were described as “other”.)
The researchers deduced that, because there was little differences between the MTAs and protected areas in terms of forest cover and road density, the differentiating factor was the human presence; and not just human presence, but human protection. The team found that 80% of recorded deaths in territories were human-caused, “but rates in protected areas were higher than those in military training areas.” Poaching was found to be the primary cause of deaths in the territories, but “not one incident of poaching was reported in military training area, where there are heavy restrictions place on hunting and other forms of human activity.”
“What is really remarkable is that the military areas acted as a stepping stone for the recolonization” – “and were far more important than civilian protected areas in the early stages of recovery,” Guillaume Chapron, wildlife ecologist at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, told Science. “It shows that when you strictly protect wildlife, it comes back.”