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Apennine Wolf

Image of the Apennine Wolf

Since about ten years Majella National Park has been continuously monitoring a pack of wolves within its territory.
The population inhabiting the Park is currently stable and is constituted by ten reproductive packs for a total amount of about 70-80 individuals, considering the animals constantly pertaining to a pack as well as those that are scattered away from the group.

Following the traces in the snow, listening to the howling during the summer, analyzing the food remains and, in recent years, using also video-photo traps and sophisticated GPS positioned on captured wolves, some extremely useful data were obtained for the conservation and the management of this species, which is the very symbol of the Park. These tools make possible the localization of reproduction sites (dens and meeting areas where the puppies are taken after the weaning), the collection of information about shape and size of the territories of different packs, as well as the type and entity of the repositioning during activity cycles.

Also their hunting activity has been deeply researched and from these investigations it was found out that within the Park this species feeds almost exclusively on wild preys, particularly wild boar, but also deer and roe deer. In fact, the presence of domestic animals has been proved to be a marginal aspect in the wolf’s diet: this is due both to the abundance of wild preys and to the effective prevention measures against the predation of domestic animals, activated within the territory of the Park.
Though diffused in the whole Park, the wolf cannot be easily spotted, due to its mainly nocturnal habits. Wolf spotting is easier during the winter, when it is also possible to listen to the choral howling coming from the packs, maybe during an excursion in search for traces in the snow.

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