MORITZBURG WILDLIFE PARK, Germany – The German wolf population continues to grow year on year, as documented by an epa-efe photojournalist who visited a wildlife park in the east of the country on Tuesday.
According to data compiled by the German Federal Nature Preservation Office (BfN), the population of European grey wolves is rising, with 73 confirmed packs, 13 more than recorded last year, and 30 pairs, 11 more than 2017 records suggest.
“The ongoing positive development of the wolf population in Germany stands in strong contrast to the worldwide dramatic loss of biodiversity,” said BfN president Beate Jessel.
The native European species has witnessed a steady decline since the Middle Ages (5-15th centuries) thanks to an institutionalized effort to cull the population deemed an annoyance to farmers.
By the 19th century, most European wolves had been exterminated in Scandinavian countries, central European states and entirely extinct in England.
In 1934, Nazi Germany introduced a bill to protect the animals. Since then, wolf packs have steadily grown in number primarily in Germany’s eastern and central states and continue to flourish thanks to continuing monitoring campaigns and legislation to manage the canine population.
The European grey wolf varies in size depending on its geographic habitat, and on average is between 1.3-1.8 meters long (4.5-6 feet) and weighs between 22-49 kilograms (50-110 pounds).