Since 2009, the wolf management plan has been in existence in Saxony. This management plan is not primarily aimed at improving the wolves' living conditions in Saxony. The wolf is a very adaptable species that does not need any "wilderness" but can also live in cultural landscapes. Due to the fact that wolf hunting was stopped in Germany and Poland, the wolf was able to recolonise in Germany by its own efforts.
Instead, the wolf management is aimed at improving the coexistence between wolves and humans by reducing conflicts to a minimum. After wolves have been absent from Germany for such a long time, the people need some time to get used to the presence of this predator. People in general but particularly livestock keepers have many questions and are in some cases even afraid. Structures and measures have been created within the scope of the wolf management plan in Saxony to enable any concerns to be addressed in a suitable way.
The management plan structures wolf management into three areas which are briefly described below:
Monitoring and research
The core competence in the field of monitoring and research is with the Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG), the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz and the LUPUS - German Institute for Wolf Monitoring and Research.
Wolf monitoring activities aim to monitor the wolf population's conservation status. Apart from the collection and evaluation of reliable data (such as traces, scats, kills) in order to obtain information about population size and distribution, telemetric analyses of the wolves' habitat utilisation and migration behaviour as well as studies on the wolves' feeding ecology and family relationships are conducted too.
Specially trained persons from the district administrator's offices and the Sachsenforst state enterprise and people engaged in hunting and nature conservation as well as other interested members of the public support these activities.
Public relations work
The core competence for public relations and education work is in the hands of the Contact Office "Wolves in Saxony" as the official wolf information centre in the Free State of Saxony. It is operated by the administrative district of Görlitz.
The Contact Office works in close cooperation with monitoring/research and livestock protection bodies. It collects and processes new findings about wolves and makes them accessible to the public. New information makes its way on the Contact Office's website and is published via press releases in a timely manner. Presentations, information stands and the "Wolf's Barn" exhibition in the Erlichthof settlement in Rietschen offer the people many possibilities of informing themselves about wolves.
In the field of public relations work too, specially trained persons from the district administrator's offices and the Sachsenforst state enterprise as well as persons engaged in hunting and nature conservation support these activities as is the case with monitoring and research work.
Damage prevention / inspection, compensation of damage
Sheep, goats and game kept in enclosures should be protected from wolf attacks by suitable measures such as electric fences in regions to which wolves have returned. This is the only way to prevent damage to livestock. Any owner of livestock is nevertheless entitled to compensation for damage if animals are attacked. Every case of damage has to be inspected. Specially trained persons from the district administrator's offices are responsible for furnishing expert opinions.
The Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology assesses the amount of damage incurred, for which compensation is paid by the competent state authority.
Education and prevention work is carried out by the respective wolf coordinator appointed by the Sachsenforst state enterprise (Mr Klingenberger), Mr Klausnitzer from the Specialist Office for Nature Conservancy and Landscape Ecology and trained persons from the district administrator's offices.
Wolf management structure in Saxony