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Croatia at a glance
Wolf populations in Croatia began to slowly increase in the early 1990s as the country began a battle for independence from Yugoslavia. Wolves currently inhabit 17,468 square kilometers of continental Croatia. The wolves here intermingle with those from neighboring Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Main prey for wolves here are ungulates and domestic livestock.
In 2014, this report was given on the state of the wolf population on Croatia. It was prepared for the State Institute for Nature Protection. The report reads, in part: “The wolf population in Croatia is part of the larger Dinaric/Balkan population that inhabits the territories of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and continues to the south of the Dinarides mountain range. This entire population is estimated to contain approximately 3900 wolves, and has been predominantly stable over the past six years (Kaczensky et al., 2013). In Croatia, the wolf is permanently present throughout the Dinarides, from the border with Slovenia to the border with Montenegro. According to the distribution map from 2013 (Figure 1), the wolf in Croatia is permanently present in 18,213 km2 and occasionally present in an additional 6,072 km2 of territory. The distribution of the Croatian wolf population is distributed over nine counties: Sisak-Moslavina, Karlovac, Lika-Senj, Primorje-Gorski Kotar, Istria, Zadar, Šibenik-Knin, Split-Dalmatia and Dubrovnik-Neretva. There were no changes in the distribution range in 2014 as compared to 2013.
“Changes in the size of the distribution area are due to changing dynamics within the Dinaric wolf population, and also due to better knowledge of the population in Croatia. The dynamics of the Dinaric wolf population depend on the approaches taken in wolf management in each of the countries sharing this population.”
Common Names: gray wolf, vuk (Croatian)
Latin Name: Canis lupus
Common Name: vuk
Latin Name: Canis lupus lupus
Current Wolf Population, Trend, Status
Number of wolves: Between 136 and 199. The last Croatian population report available is from 2014. A link to that report is here.
Population trend: Stable
Legal protection: Full protection (no exceptions)
Attitudes and Issues
- Croatian wildlife, a page by Animal Friends Croatia
- Wolf management plan in the Republic of Croatia for 2010-2015
- Protecting wolves in Croatia
- Framework for strategic wind farm site prioritisation based on modelled wolf reproduction habitat in Croatia
- Video of a wolf pack marking a tree in Croatia can be found here
- Wolves and Humans in Croatia: Two Stories
- Not your everyday guests! Two wolves search for food in Podkilavac
- 2013 report to the UK Wolf Conservation Trust on the wolf and lyxn research project in Croatia
- Association for the Protection of Animals (Udruga Zastita Prirode Animalia) in Croatia
- Spatially varying density dependence drives a shifting mosaic of survival in a recovering apex predator (Canis lupus)
Gioele Passoni, Marcus Rowcliffe, Ari Whiteman, Josip Kusak and Djuro Huber
- Apex predatory mammals as bioindicator species in environmental monitoring of elements in Dinaric Alps (Croatia)
Maja Lazarus, Ankica Sekovanic, Tatjana Orct, Slaven Reljic, Josip Kusak, Jasna Jurasovic and Djuro Huber
- Recovery of large carnivores in Europe’s modern human-dominated landscapes
Guillaume Chapron, Petra Kaczensky, John D.C. Linnell and Luigi Boitani
- Home ranges, movements, and activity of wolves (Canis lupus) in the Dalmatian part of Dinarids, Croatia
Josip Kusak, Aleksandra Majic Skrbinsek and Djuro Huber
- The permeability of highway in Gorski kotar (Croatia) for large mammals
Josip Kusak, Djuro Huber, Tomislav Gomercic, Gabriel Schwaderer and Goran Guzvica
- Biological Conservation: Changes in Attitudes toward wolves in Crotia
Aleksandra Majic and Alistair J. Bath
Historic data for reference
- Wolves in Croatia: Baseline Data (1992)
Frkovic, Alojzije and Djuro Huber. 1992. In Promberger, C. and W. Schroder, eds. Wolves in Europe. Oberammergau, Germany: 66-69.
- Public Attitudes Towards Wolves in Croatia: Positive Change with the Wolf Population Drop (1993)
Huber, Djuro et al. 1993. Submitted for the Proceedings of the Wolf Meeting in Leon (Spain).
- Questionnaire on Wolves in Croatia and Macedonia: Comparison of Public Attitudes (1992)
Huber, Djuro, Sinisa Mitevski and Dragutin Kuhar. 1992. In Promberger, C. and W. Schroder, eds. Wolves in Europe. Oberammergau, Germany: 124-125.