Abundance and population trends of wolf in Croatia in 2007

The population size assessment conducted in 2007 resulted in an approximate range of 180 to 230 individuals, or an average of 205 individuals distributed in some fifty packs. Though the total assessed population was virtually the same as in the previous year, certain changes were observed in assessed numbers by county. These differences can be attributed to the use of wolf population monitoring methods such as snow tracks, which was used in a large part of mountainous Croatia. These methods gave numerous data on certain areas where no intensive scientific research is conducted, and where livestock damages are virtually negligible. Considering that the assessed numbers in previous years was primarily based on the statements of authorised experts for determining damages incurred to livestock, this year's assessment should not be considered an increase in the population size, but instead, better findings based on more comprehensive data (Desnica et al., 2007).

Long-term telemetry research conducted in Croatia have shown that the wolf packs found in the border areas of the Republic of Croatia with neighbouring countries spend large amounts of time in those neighbouring countries. Due to the specific size and length of the border with these countries, it is evident that there are a large number of “border packs” that spend a part of the year in Croatia and a part outside its borders. Therefore, in assessing the size of the wolf population in 2007, only half of the assessed numbers of the individuals of border wolf packs was considered. In terms of population trends, the most significant difference from previous year was the drop in wolf numbers recorded by virtually all experts working in the Dalmatian counties.

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