Causes of threat

In stable wolf populations, with no human impacts, wolves perish in various natural ways, such as in conflicts with other wolves, due to disease or starvation. Today, however, man is the main cause of wolf mortality, either directly or indirectly. Human impacts causing wolf mortality can be divided into three categories – impacts on habitats (construction of motorways and railways, urban spread, tourism and recreation activities, forest clearing, pollution, etc.), impacts on prey (poaching, hunting management, etc.) and direct impacts on wolf populations (legal hunting, illegal hunting, poisoned bait, traps, spread of disease, lack of immunisation of rural dogs, etc.). In constructing transport infrastructure and settlements, natural wolf habitats are reduced and fragmented and migratory routes are cut off. Due to hunting pressures and poaching, the natural wolf prey populations are reduced. Direct wolf deaths on roads, and legal and illegal hunting are the main causes of direct human impacts on wolf populations, however, the significance of poisoning and the taking of individuals from nature for keeping in captivity should not be underestimated, as these also represent losses for the natural population.