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The wolf

Wild wolves have been living in Germany again since 2000, having immigrated from Poland. Wolves have also been native to Lower Saxony again since 2011. The Landesjägerschaft Niedersachsen e.V. (LJN) has been carrying out official wolf monitoring on behalf of the state since 2011. There are now more than 55 wolf territories in Lower Saxony (as of November 2023). Information on the population and distribution of wolves in Lower Saxony is regularly updated and published on the dedicated website wolfsmonitoring.com.

A wolf

No wolves live in the city of Wolfsburg. However, due to the large radius of action of the surrounding packs, the annual migration of young wolves and the immigration of new animals from the surrounding federal states, wolf sightings can be expected at any time throughout Lower Saxony and therefore also in Wolfsburg.

In Germany, the wolf is a strictly protected species under the European Flora-Fauna-Habitat Directive (FFH Directive) and the Federal Nature Conservation Act (BNatSchG). In principle, it is forbidden to disturb, capture, injure or kill wolves. However, if a wolf poses a threat to life and limb or causes serious agricultural damage, for example, rapid intervention by the police or the granting of a special permit is possible under strict conditions.

In order to ensure a uniform approach throughout the state, the state has published a Lower Saxony Wolf Management Plan, which includes information on the biology and conservation status of the species, organizational units, advisory and reporting offices as well as guidelines for action and management measures.

Behavior during a wolf encounter

In our cultural landscape, wolves are accustomed to the presence of humans and human structures. Nevertheless, the animals generally retreat as soon as they notice or recognize humans. They often make an "orderly retreat" without fleeing in panic. They may also turn around several times. Young wolves are often more curious than adult wolves, which can lead to them observing people for longer before fleeing.

If people are accompanied by dogs, they can influence the behavior of wolves. In individual cases, dogs can be the trigger for close encounters or ensure that wolves stay in the settlement area for longer periods of time. There are many reasons for this: wolves may see dogs as mating partners, playmates or competitors.

  • How to behave correctly when encountering wolves

    • Stay calm, observe the wolf and keep a respectful distance.
    • If you have your dog with you, call it to you, put it on a lead and keep it close to you.
    • Do not run away, but stand still or walk slowly backwards.
    • If, contrary to expectations, an animal approaches you or follows you, stop and intimidate it, e.g. by shouting, clapping or using other aids (e.g. whistle). If it still does not turn away, throw objects such as sticks or stones at it.
    • Do not feed the animal under any circumstances and do not leave any waste or leftover food lying around.
    • If the situation allows, take photos/videos - please do not chase the animal!
    • Please report the encounter immediately to the Lower Saxony Hunting Association (Tel: 0511-5304318 / e-mail: wolf@ljn.de) or the NLWKN wolf office (e-mail: wolfsbuero-allgemein@nlwkn.niedersachsen.de)

  • As wolves have large action radii and can run many kilometers within a very short time, an assessment of sightings or encounters with wolves from a state-wide perspective makes sense. The Lower Nature Conservation Authority of the City of Wolfsburg can only assess wolf behavior to a limited extent (e.g. in the case of an aggressive wolf). In principle, wolf behavior is assessed by experts from the Wolf Office of the Lower Saxony Water Management, Coastal and Nature Conservation Agency (NLWKN Wolf Office).

    The NLWKN wolf office is in close contact with the state's lower nature conservation authorities and informs them immediately if the LJN or the NLWKN wolf office receives reports that require special attention due to conspicuous wolf behavior. In the case of "normal and uncritical" sightings or encounters with wolves, the relevant lower nature conservation authority is not automatically informed.

  • Please report every wolf sighting / wolf encounter!

    Sightings / encounters with wolves as well as dead animals can be reported via the following media and offices:


  • Information for kindergartens and schools

    Parents' worries and fears are quite understandable, but are generally unfounded. Humans - both children and adults - are not part of the prey spectrum of wolves. It goes without saying that a danger from wolves, as well as from other wild animals (e.g. wild boar or ticks), can never be ruled out 100 percent.

    However, the noise level caused by children and the legal duty of supervision by adults (e.g. educators/caregivers) make an encounter with or even a danger from wolves very unlikely. From the point of view of the wolf experts, there is therefore no reason to take special precautions (e.g. fencing off the kindergarten/school) or to refrain from holding forest weeks/days and excursions into the forest or nature.

    In the 23 years that wolves have been back in Germany, there has been no situation that has made it necessary to specially secure forest kindergartens. There have also been no reports of this from neighboring European countries.

  • Promotion of preventive measures for the protection of livestock and compensation for damage to livestock

    The state's own "Wolf Directive" serves to promote livestock protection measures and provides financial support to livestock farmers in the event of damage. The aim is to establish nationwide livestock protection and thus promote acceptance of the wolf.

    Full-time and part-time livestock farmers as well as hobby farmers of sheep, goats, livestock, cattle and horses can obtain information on the funding modalities from the Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture (LWK). If you find a dead farm animal where there is a suspicion that a wolf could be involved, please contact your local LWK expert immediately.

    The LWK also offers general and individual advice (tailored to your own farm/operation) on suitable livestock protection measures for all livestock farmers.

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