In addition to the recent news about bears wandering around, Hungary now also seems to have a newly acquired wolf population, as Sokszínűvidék reports. For the first time, they were also captured on camera.
The wolves were believed to live in Börzsöny, a mountain range in Northern Hungary. The webpage talked to Péter Bedő, who posted the first picture about the wolves and is the researcher of predators at the Börzsöny Foundation.
Is the photo reliable?
Péter Bedő emphasised that, due to the close link between wolves and dogs, their appearance and their footprints can be impossible to distinguish sometimes.
So, basically, any wolf footprint or camera image could be a dog as well, and the only 100% evidence is DNA.
The expert shared that he found traces clearly left by wolves last December, and another nature reserve guard found other signs in January. Later in February and March, they found more signs: fresh footprints and other signs of life, such as recently killed preys and urine. “We sent all these to the biotechnical laboratory in Gödöllő for analysis” – Péter Bedő explained.
What does the DNA say?
Péter Gombkötő, the expert in charge of zoology from the National Park of Bükk, gave more information on the results:
Based on the samples provided, they identified several wolves.
“The genetic traces of one wolf came from five different locations” Péter Gombkötő added, “so we could also define its minimal territory in the central part of Börzsöny.”
Do we have to fear them?
Péter Bedő believes that the wolves have already settled in Börzsöny but has no information about whether or not they are exclusive to these territories. However, he has not heard of anyone else meeting the wolves so far. They prefer to hide, and if there are more than one they intend to avoid any contact with people.
Therefore, they do not mean any danger to humans.
Péter Bedő also added that the Börzsöny Foundation laid four camera traps in 2007 but those are in place not because of the wolves but rather for rare felines such as lynxes and wild cats. These cameras, as well as the collection of samples, work on a voluntary basis. Péter Bedő covers the costs of the cameras from the 1 pc tax donations that the Foundation has received, or at his own expenses.
Featured image: illustration