Wolf action plan drawn up for Luxembourg18-02-2016
Have wolves returned to Luxembourg? What are the plans if wolves settle in the Grand Duchy? A new action plan has been set up and recently presented by State Secretary Camille Gira.
(ADW) Nobody can say for certain if wolves have yet set their paws on Luxembourg territory, or whether they ever will. However, to be prepared for all eventualities a working group has been set up within the nature and forest management organisation. Within the group the Environment and Agriculture Ministries, other government officials, conservation organisations and sheep breeders, are all represented.
"A first round of talks took place in December, where we have the basic structure of an action plan drawn up in six chapters", explained State Secretary Camille Gira following the meeting of the parliamentary environment committee.
“Primarily it is about possible damages and compensation in the case of sheep or calves being attacked by wolves. But it is clear that the protection of individuals, with all the considerations, is the focus”, said Gira.
Despite not yet confirmed on Luxembourg soil, the wolf is even part of the new animal welfare law and on a protection list. This is the case in most of Europe already. In rare extreme cases of “problem wolves” where people have come too close to wolves, the population may be controlled but only by officials of the nature management organisation.
Still no evidence in Luxembourg
The wolf has been proven for years to be in existence in Europe and indeed the population is on the rise. The closet sightings to the Grand Duchy borders have been in Lorraine in France and Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany.
In Luxembourg however, the evidence is missing so far. Although individual wolves may have crossed the country, actual return is uncertain. "We do not know whether they will ever settle down here, but we are keep an eye on things" says Gira.
“Luxembourg’s landscape is greatly dissected. A pack of wolves needs 200 to 300 square kilometres of territory to settle. Chances are therefore rather low” stated Gira before concluding, “fears are misplaced, especially to those that spend holidays in Spain or southern France and have probably been much closer to wolves where they’ve lived for years in freedom, than here in Luxembourg