Lutra 59(1-2)_Lelieveld et al_2016

The first proof of the recent presence of wolves in the Netherlands

During the second half of the 20th century, wolves (Canis lupus L. 1758) have greatly expanded their range in Europe. Experts believe that wolves will ultimately recolonise the Netherlands. In March 2015, a German wolf (named ‘Wanderwolf ’) visited the Netherlands, leaving a trail of sightings and several attacked sheep. This raised a lot of media interest and public discussion. In this article, we summarise the spread of the wolf across north-western Europe in the 21st century, often into habitats previously considered too small for viable populations, track Wanderwolf ’s background and journey across the north-east of the Netherlands and discuss other possible sightings of wolves in the Netherlands since 1990.