The Wolf Army
Good news for wolves in Europe :
On 6 September 2011 as you all will recall, a wolf was spotted in the Netherlands for the first time since 1869.
However updated news says this was only rumour and that the wolf was in fact a dog. Well hopes are up.
It was predicted in September 2010 that wolves will soon appear in the Netherlands again by the Environment Commission of the EU.
Nature does not respect the borders that humans draw on maps and the possible return of the wolf to the Netherlands will be related to demographical developments elsewhere.
In nearly every country on the European continent large new habitats for animals like the wolf is being created by depopulation, urbanization and afforestation.Home to 22 of the world's 25 lowest-birthrate countries, Europe will lose 41 million people by 2030 even with continued immigration, according to the latest U.N. Population Division report. The biggest decline will hit rural Europe.
Rural flight continues to suck people into Europe's suburbs and cities .The countryside will lose close to a third of its population, say both the United Nations and the EU.
Farming is greatly scaled down in Europe and most farmers exists on subsidies and the current economical climate will reduce the subsidies even further.All across the southern Alps, villages have emptied out and forests have grown back in. Outside the range of these subsidies-in Bulgaria, Romania or Ukraine-big tracts of land are returning to the wild.
Another reason for this optimism was the fact that a collared wolf Allan, born in Germany, only needed six months to travel 1500 km (932 miles) to Belarus, in the process several times crossing the border with Poland, one of the most heavily guarded in the entire EU. Experts say that because of the evasive character of the wolf it may have already passed through the country without anybody noticing.
And we all know by now that the prediction has come true and it looks optimistic for the wolves in greater Europe although many Europeans are reluctant to just let nature do its thing. "We still cry when the woods close in."
* Credit for stats Stefan Theil*