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Albania at a glance

Main prey for wolves in this country are deer, wild boar and domestic livestock. Wolf range is approximately 50 percent of the map shown, range lines are not currently depicted.

According to this document, prepared by members of the Albanian Society for the Protection of Birds and Mammals and Transborder Wildlife: Distribution range of the wolf in Albania covers most of the territory, including the hilly, pre-mountainous, mountainous, and alpine zones. Given the fact that the wolf has become nowadays a predator dependent to livestock in Albania (mostly on sheep and goats), its movements and migrations are very much linked with those of sheep and domesticated goat herds that in summer time move up to mountain pastures, while in winter get down to lowlands for grazing. The wolf is absent along the western lowland coastal zone of Albania, from Shkodra to Vlora.

According to this paper from 2005, “The wolf in Albania is currently protected by National law (the Law on Hunting and Wildlife Protection, 1994), and its killing is allowed only in special cases, by issuing special authorization. Nevertheless, due to lack of legal enforcement, the wolf is believed to be hunted and killed all year round. The wolf has traditionally been considered a pest predator, causing damages to livestock. As a consequence, the animal has been persecuted and killed systematically up to the point that regular extermination campaigns have been organised through direct hunting and killing, and even using poisons, like strychnine.”

Species Information

Common Names: gray wolf, ujku (Albanian)
Latin Name: Canis lupus

Common Name:
Latin Name: Canis lupus lupus

Current Wolf Population, Trend, Status
Number of wolves: About 250. This figure is from a book written in 2003 by L. David Mech and Luigi Boitani. This paper from 2005 estimates the population between 900 and 1,200. There is not a source for any more recent population estimates.
Population trend: Stable/Decreasing
Legal protection: A national hunting ban went into effect in 2014.

This page was last updated in 2020.

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