Wolves were once native to Germany throughout the country. Many villages or towns as well as landscapes with "wolf" in their names still attest to the presence of wolves in these regions today. Due to intensive wolf hunting, Germany was nearly free of wolves around 1850. During the following decades, individual wolves that immigrated from Poland appeared every now and then especially in the East of Germany. While the wolf has been a specially protected species under the Federal Ordinance on the Conservation of Species in the Federal Republic of Germany since 1980, the wolf was classified as an animal that could be hunted all year round on the territory of the former German Democratic Republic until reunification in 1990. The legal protection of the wolf over the entire territory of the Federal Republic of Germany was the prerequisite for the recolonisation of the wolves in Germany.
In 2000, a wolf pair that had immigrated from Poland to Upper Lusatia successfully raised pups again in Germany for the first time in about 150 years. In the years that followed, wolves born in Saxony and immigrant wolves from Poland found new territories and established further packs.
In 2009, there were the first two wolf packs outside of Saxony in the region of Welzow (Brandenburg) and in the military training area Altengrabow (Saxony-Anhalt). Since then, wolves have further dispersed throughout Germany.
Map showing the distribution of wolves in Germany in the monitoring year 2015/2016 (status November 2016)
Copyright: Dokumentations- und Beratungsstelle des Bundes zum Wolf (DBBW), based on monitoring of the Länder
The map shows the confirmed wolf territories in Germany as found in the previous monitoring year 2015/2016 (status November 2016):
47 wolf packs, 15 wolf pairs and 4 resident single wolves
A monitoring year runs from 1 May to 30 April of the following calendar year. A year here encompasses the wolf's biological year, namely from the birth of the pups to the end of their first year of life.
Data of terminated monitoring years can change constantly when a change of the information is necessary because of new knowledge. For example: If a new wolf pair with reproduction (pack) is confirmed within the current monitoring year, a wolf pair must have existed in the previous monitoring year. Hence, the data for the previous year is changed.
Up-to-date information about the wolf distribution in Germany, as well as the development of the wolf population since 2000, can be found on the website of the Documentation and consultancy centre of the Federal Republic about the wolf (Dokumentations- und Beratungsstelle des Bundes zum Wolf (DBBW)). You can also find an overview of contact persons in the other German Federal States: www.dbb-wolf.de
The wolves in Germany and the wolves in Poland are part of the Central European lowland population. The Association for Nature WOLF (AfN Wolf) has found evidence of a total of 53 wolf packs and pairs in Western Poland in the monitoring year 2015/2016.