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Europe at a glance 

Wolves once existed throughout much of Europe.  Conflicts with humans and fears originating from religious beliefs, myths and folklore influenced human attitudes towards wolves and, as a result, wolves have been persecuted for hundreds of years.  Currently, wolves are found in many European countries, although range lines are not depicted in the map above.  Main prey in this region generally consists of ungulate species, including livestock.  Legal status, population numbers and trends vary country to country.

Species Information 

Species 
Common Names: gray wolf, ujku (Albanian), vuk (Croatian), vlk (Czech), ulv (Danish and Norwegian), wolf (Dutch and German), hunt (Estonian), susi (Estonian and Finnish), loup (French), farkas (Hungarian), lupo (Italian), wilk (Polish), lobo (Portuguese and Spanish), lup (Romanian), vlk dravý (Slovakian), volk (Slovene), varg (Swedish), kurt (Turkish), волк (Russian)
Latin Name: Canis lupus

Tundra wolf

Tundra wolf


Russian wolf

Russian wolf (Image: Hok, CC)

Italian wolf (Creative Commons)

Italian wolf (Creative Commons)

Wolf Region 1
Common Name: tundra wolf, Eurasian Arctic wolf
Latin Name: Canis lupus albus

Wolf Region 3
 Common Name: Russian wolf
Latin Name: Canis lupus communis          
Wolf Region 3
Common Name: Italian wolf
Latin Name: Canis lupus italicus
Eurasian wolf

Eurasian wolf

Desert wolves in India

Desert wolves

male iberian wolf jcblanco

Male Iberian wolf (J.C. Blanco, Spanish wolf biologist)

Wolf Region 4
Common Name: Eurasian wolf
Latin Name: Canis lupus lupus
Wolf Region 5
Common Name: Indian wolf, desert wolf
Latin Name: Canis lupus pallipes
Wolf Region 6
Common Name: Iberian wolf
Latin Name: Canis lupus signatus

Current Wolf Population, Trend, Status

Number of wolves: 13,000 not including Russia; numbers may be lower or higher due to insufficient research in several countries
Population trend:  Increasing and areas are expanding
Legal protection:  Protected in many countries, considered a game species in some; persecution or poaching in rural areas occurs despite protection

Most recent data available: 2013

Human Relationships 

The Fear of Wolves: A Review of Wolf Attacks on Humans (2002) (pdf)  This document is available via the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) with a purpose to provide a foundation for the process of reducing people’s fear of wolves, and to make some management recommendations to reduce the risk of attacks. The goal was to compile existing literature and knowledge on wolf attacks on people from Scandinavia, continental Europe, Asia and North America, and to look for patterns in the cases.

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