Decades after widespread and efficient hunting wiped them from the Alps, wolves are returning.
Unlike the bear and the lynx, the wolf
) is returning naturally to its former Alpine territory, without the help of restocking or reintroduction efforts. The natural return of the wolf is a sign that the Alps are once again ecologically ready to support wolf populations. A favourable protection status for the wolf in the Alps also played a major role in aiding its return.
But human-wolf conflict continues to be a major barrier to the full return of the wolf in the Alps. Low acceptance of the wolf’s return is especially strong in Alpine regions were the wolf has been long absent. In some regions, the legal protection status of the species under the Bern Convention is being attacked, as demonstrated by the recent appeal by Switzerland to downgrade the wolf’s status as a strictly protected species.
What we do
Reducing human-wolf conflicts and managing those that arise will be important steps if humans and wolves are to coexist peacefully. Through education, tourism, and effective management, WWF is working to enhance the acceptance of wolves in the Alps.