The wolf population (Canis lupus) continues to grow domestically. These figures, always expected for "pro" as for "anti" wolves are transmitted by the National Office of Hunting and Wildlife (ONCFS) via its Loup-Lynx network. The results were made public on December 6, 2018 in a statement in which the establishment recalls that the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition has charged "to monitor the species concerned and regularly publish verified and reliable demographic trend indicators"."It is important to know at best the temporal evolution of the distribution of the wolf on the French territory in order to evaluate its state of conservation and to provide to the public authorities and to the actors the necessary elements to the making of the decisions of management"In October 2018, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes prefecture, which runs the Wolf Plan at the national level, authorized the collection of 8 more wolves until 31 December 2018.
72 packs of wolves spotted against 57 before
The public establishment provides 3 complementary indicators: the structuring of packs and zones of permanent presence, a presence map of the species at the communal scale and finally, an estimate of the numbers at the end of winter. "This summer, the number of zones of permanent presence remains on a growing trend confirming the elements resulting from the winter follow-upIn June 2018, this newsletter indicated that about 430 wolves were present in France, an annual growth rate of nearly 20%. in 85 zones against 74 according to the previous bulletin.France has 72 packs against 57 previously.This growth of the population is reflected first and foremost by a strengthening of the population in the Alpine and Provençal sector through the filling of the interstices between the packs present. At the same time, the population explores new territories, as illustrated by the communal map", commented the ONCFS emphasizing that the arrival of these animals in a new territory is the subject of a report to the authorities.
"Soon 500 wolves in France? And so what?"
These results are however to be taken with tweezers. Indeed, some pups born during the spring will not survive the rigors of winter. The number of wolves after the cold period should therefore be taken more into account than at the end of the summer period to evaluate the growth of the lupine population. But the ONCFS estimates that the population counts more than 500 animals at the end of winter. "This figure corresponds to a first threshold of viability of the population (threshold of demographic viability)The new Wolf Plan, worn by Nicolas Hulot, was aimed precisely at the 500 wolves for 2023. If this figure is reached, the government will reconsider the "management device", that is the number of animals that can be killed in a year.
"Soon 500 wolves in France? So what ?"responded the association Ferus who ensures that this figure is low for a species whose return began more than 20 years ago."And still no reproduction found outside the alpine / Mediterranean core, which is not normal"In a joint report of MNHN and ONCFS published in February 2017, experts said that"over the longer term, an effective size of 500 has long been considered necessary to preserve the evolutionary potential and sufficiently reduce the problems of inbreeding depression. Geneticists now consider this to be an underestimate, and recommend effective sizes in the range of 1000-5000"While 500 is an absolute minimum, more specifically, a minimum of 2,500 to 5,000 sexually mature individuals is recommended.