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Poland at a glance

Most wolves live in the eastern and southern portions of Poland with the entire population range occupying 50 percent of the map shown (range lines are not depicted). However, 30 percent of Poland’s wolf population is considered transborder, ranging in both Poland and adjacent countries. There is a large food base for wolves with main prey for wolves being roe deer, red deer (elk), wild boar, mufflon (bighorn sheep) and moose.

Threats to wolf survival in Poland include habitat fragmentation and conflict with humans over depredation.

A Polish organization, Association for Nature WOLF, reports the following on its website

“Before 2001, data on wolf occurrence and numbers in the country were provided by hunting inventories, which frequently overestimated numbers by as much as 100%. Since 2001, a regular large-scale census of wolf and lynx populations, co-ordinated the Mammal Research Institute PAS in Białowieża and the Association for Nature “Wolf”, has been conducted for the whole of Poland, in close co-operation with foresters from all forest divisions. Between 2001 and 2005, the increase in both the number and range of the wolf population was recorded only in areas east of the Vistula river and in the Carpathians. Thus wolves’ distribution was mostly limited to the northeastern, eastern, and southern parts of the country. In central and western Poland only few individuals were recorded. However since 2005 wolves have begun to resettle Western Poland. Currently these big predators gradually re-colonise forests where they were extirpated by people dozens years ago.

“The Polish wolf population makes up the western-most range of a large, continuous Eastern European wolf population, which has retained a high level of genetic diversity. In other areas of occurrence of this species in Europe, e.g. Italy, France, Spain or Sweden, populations are more isolated, limited in number and genetic diversity, and very sensitive to environmental changes. Poland, due to its location in the central part of Europe, is one of the most important refuges of this carnivore, and is an important source of dispersing individuals to regions where it was eradicated many years ago. Analyses of changes in wolf range in the twentieth century, genetic studies on wolves in Poland, radiotelemetry and GIS analyses show that wolf migration and dispersal in Poland occurs along latitudinal migration corridors. These findings resulted in a project of protection of migration corridors for big terrestrial mammals in Poland.”

Species Information

Species
Common Names: gray wolf, wilk (Polish)  
Latin Name: Canis lupus

Subspecies
Common Name:
Latin Name: Canis lupus lupus

Current Wolf Population, Trend, Status
Number of wolves: About 1,200 to 2,000. The first figure comes from this website and the larger figure comes from this website.
Population trend: Increasing
Legal protection: Full protection since 1998

Most recent data available: 2018

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