There is a chance that there could soon be a happy young wolf family living on the Veluwe. So says ecologist Hugh Jansman of Wageningen Environmental Research following a genetic analysis of wolf droppings.
According to Jansman, male and female wolves have been roaming the same area of the North Veluwe. ‘It’s possible that they have met.’ It remains to be seen whether the two wolves will pair up. If they do, cubs might be born at the beginning of May.
The wolves in question are a female with the codename GW998f and a male, GW893m. The female was first noticed on the North Veluwe at the end of July last year. She comes from a pack in the Babben area of Germany, about 600 kilometres from the Dutch border.
The female has been in the Netherlands for six months. That makes her the first wolf to settle in the Netherlands for 150 years. The droppings of hers that were found suggest she has been around continuously, but the conclusive evidence was a splash of blood on a footprint in the snow. Jansman says it was probably ovulation blood.
The male, wolf GW893m, made his appearance in the Netherlands on 6 January. He came onto the Dutch wolf researchers’ ‘radar’ through samples from sheep killed in Heino and Damsholte. In the weeks that followed, droppings of his were found in the area where the female has been observed.
There are two other female wolves in the country, according to Wageningen Environmental Research. One of these, GW960f, is also living on the Veluwe.