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Latvia at a glance

Main prey for wolves here are ungulates (cervid and a wild boar, Sus scrofa) and livestock. Wolf range is approximately 75 percent of the map shown. Range lines are not depicted in the map above.

In 2001, Janis Ozolins and Zanete Andersone prepared this document, titled “Action plan for the conservation of wolves in Latvia,” and delivered it to the Convention of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. It begins like this: “The wolf is common in the major part of the country inhabiting most densely the western and eastern regions. According to official data on population trend, the maximum of population size was reached in the middle of nineties (1997 – 997 individuals). Decline in numbers is recorded currently as a result of strengthened control. However, no proper census was carried out and the number few years ago likely was overestimated. Forests and high bogs are considered as the main wolf habitats. There are no significant differences in population status and habitat conditions between Latvia and neighbouring countries, thus a joint wolf population inhabits Eastern Baltic, Belarus and western regions of Russia. The hunting is responsible for the majority of wolf mortality.”

They also wrote that from 1995 until 1999, about $125 USD was paid by the State Forest Service for killing a wolf, regardless of its age, sex or means of hunting.

This document contains comprehensive information about wolves in Latvia.

Species Information

Species
Common Names: gray wolf. vilks (Latvian)
Latin Name: Canis lupus

Subspecies
Common Name:
Latin Name: Canis lupus lupus

Current Wolf Population, Trend, Status
Number of wolves: About 670, but that number is reduced every year by hunting. About 300 wolves per year are killed by hunters in Latvia leaving the population around 300 at the end of the hunting season.
Population trend: Stable
Legal protection: Some protections and some hunting

This page was last updated in 2018

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