GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — A male wolf last reported in the Grafenwoehr Training Area February 2017 has moved to the Hohenfels Training Area, according to evidence retrieved by the Bavarian Ministry for Environment (LfU).
A genetic test of wolf excrements found at the HTA indicate this is the same wolf spotted at the GTA earlier this year.
This was the third verification of a wolf at the HTA. In January 2017, an adult female red deer was found dead inside the HTA. The Bavarian Ministry for Environment (LfU) took DNA samples of the deer and determined that it was killed by a wolf of the central European population, but the DNA samples weren’t good enough to identify the gender. In April an environmental contractor took a photo of a wolf in the “box”.
“If it was the same wolf in all three cases, that can’t be verified,” said Stefan Haertl of the USAG Bavaria Environmental Division.
The first wolf sightings were reported September 2016 in the expansive training area of Grafenwoehr, prompting immediate garrison response measures. No injuries or contact have since been reported, but community members are reminded to remain calm and stay clear of all wildlife.
Environmental officials have picked up nearly 100 instances of wolf evidence, such as sightings, wolf excrement and carcasses left behind by wolves.
“We know of at least one wolf pair in the center GTA, but without any evidence of offspring or baby wolves — so far” said Haertl.
Germany’s Federal Agency for Nature Conservation announced that numbers from April 2016 indicate that 46 packs, 15 pairs and 4 sedentary individuals reside in Germany — primarily in the states of Saxony, Brandenburg and Lower Saxony.
Since 2006, numerous wolves have been spotted by wildlife cameras or found dead by the side of the road throughout parts of Bavaria. These wolves are likely young males from northeastern Germany or the Alps searching for new territories to call their own.
A wolf pair lives in the Bavarian National Forest with at least three babies — the first wolf pack reported in Bavaria in more than 150 years, said Haertl.
Since the renewed presence of wolves in Germany, no attacks on humans have been reported.
Wolves are naturally cautious and try to avoid humans. Opportunistic eaters, wolves eat whatever is most easily accessible, such as boar and deer — both of which are abundant in the Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels Training Areas. Conflicts can arise when wolves have easy access to unprotected livestock and trash.
“There are a few things we can do to ensure we live in harmony with wolves and other wildlife,” Haertl said.
Soldiers and people out in the training areas can help by properly disposing of food wastes or wrappers and not feeding wildlife or stray animals.
For those living on or off post, Haertl recommends securing pet food. Leaving pet food unattended on the porch or patio can attract wildlife and stray animals. Wildlife, such as wolves and foxes, might start to associate humans or human facilities with food and lose that natural timidity, possibly leading to dangerous situations.
It is extremely unlikely that you will encounter a wolf, but if you do, follow this safety advice from the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN):
The safety of our community and our animals is our top priority. If you see a wolf — or if you accidentally hurt or kill one on the road — notify the MP front desk or German Polizei and stay clear. Contact the MP front desk at DSN 476-3398/3397, CIV 09662-83-3398/3397. Contact the German Polizei at 110.