In the space of 24 months, around fifty wolves have been observed in our country. Since the return of the predator in 1995, its population has continued to grow
The wolf has been talked about in recent weeks. The Federal Chambers have decided, as part of the revision of the law on hunting, to facilitate its regulation. The project, which has yet to come back to the Council of States for the final details, provides for the shooting of the wolf, also as a preventive measure. In addition, the cantons will no longer need the approval of the federal authorities, hitherto necessary, to slaughter a protected animal. Several environmental organizations have already announced a referendum, the people may have to decide on the issue.
The predator has also made remarkable appearances in recent months, above Nyon (VD), in Blonay (VD), in Loye (VS) or even in La Souste (VS). In the space of 24 months, between April 2017 and March 2019, the presence of about fifty wolves has been attested in Switzerland, according to the count of KORA , the foundation for the ecology of carnivores and the management of wild fauna . Since the predator’s return to Switzerland, almost a quarter of a century ago – it was in July 1995 in the Val Ferret, in Valais -, the wolf population has continued to grow.
There are four packs in our country. The best known, and the first in Switzerland, is that of Calanda in Graubünden, which has reproduced every year since 2012. The other three are located in the Ringelspitz region, on the border between Graubünden and the cantons of Glarus and from St. Gallen, in Ticino, east of Bellinzona, and in central Valais.
A couple in the Vaud Jura
A couple of wolves has also settled in the Vaud Jura for almost two years. The first observation was made in October 2017. It was confirmed a year later by a photo. For them to be considered as a couple, the two canines must have been together for at least a year, according to the Swiss Wolf Plan.
The other specimens are isolated wolves. Five of them are individuals residing in Switzerland (3 males and 2 females). This means that they have been in the same region for at least one year. The other wolves are, according to KORA, “in transit” in our country (16 males and 10 females). They could very well become “residents” if they settle permanently in one region, or simply continue their journey towards another region in Switzerland or in another country.
The wolf visited 19 cantons
Since the return of the canine to Switzerland, around a hundred males have been genetically identified over the years, for around fifty females. The presence of the canine has been proven in 19 of the 26 Swiss cantons, thanks to undeniable presence indices such as genetics or photos. In French-speaking Switzerland, only the cantons of Geneva and the Jura have not had a proven wolf on their territory. In the past 24 months, however, the wolf has only been identified in the cantons of Bern, Friborg, Valais and Vaud, as far as French-speaking Switzerland is concerned.
In two decades, since 1998, 34 wolves have lost their lives in Switzerland. Twelve were legally shot and two in error, six were victims of poaching and nine died in a traffic accident. The last five were found dead or fell from a cliff. The KORA foundation also records the damage caused to production animals by the wolf. Between 1999 and 2018, nearly 4,000 farm animals were compensated in Switzerland following an attack by the predator.