Research and wolf monitoring since 2010

At the end of the 2009 season, 6 wolves were collared – five in the Gorski Kotar area, and one in the Mt. Velebit area. Of these, four received GPS collars and two received VHF collars. Wolves in the area of Gorski Kotar were studied and tracked by experts from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb, and the Krasno pack on Mt. Velebit was tracked by J. Tomaić and I. Krušić.

Of the five collared wolves in Gorski Kotar, three belonged to the Snježnik pack: Hilda (wolf with a collar that has been operational since 2002) and two newly collared males: Luka and Drago. One wolf with a GPS collar, Rina, was from the Risnjak pack, while a wolf with a GPS-GSM collar, Taša, was from the Suho pack. On Mt. Velebit, a female, Ira from the Krasno pack, was marked with a VHF collar.

Great impacts on telemetric monitoring of wolves have been recorded in neighbouring Slovenia. Namely, Taša, a female of the Suho pack, disappeared only 7 days after moving from Croatia into Slovenia. An even greater loss was recorded on 25 February 2010, when two males from the Snježnik pack, Luka and Drago, were killed as a part of legal culling just a week after entering Slovenia. These events, and previous losses of wolves in Slovenia, suggest the possibility that the survival of the Slovenian wolf population is dependent on the immigration of wolves from Croatia, and that wolf mortality in Slovenia is greater than its natural population regeneration.

In winter 2009/2010, tracks of at least six wolves were observed in the Risnjak pack. The Snježnik pack had at least seven wolves (including Hilda, Luka and Drago), and a minimum of 7 wolves were recorded for the Suho pack. At the start of the winter 2009/2010, the Krasno pack had a minimum of eight wolves (including Ira).

In the period from 15 November 2009 to 10 November 2010, a total of eight wolves from five different packs were monitored. A total of 8116 positions were collected for these individuals. All animals monitored in this period were pack members, which was confirmed through howling, direct observation and track monitoring. The collected locations were used to calculate the size of their range areas.

In 2013, no wolves were captured or collared, despite efforts by scientists and multiple field visits.