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While folklore establishes a connection between the wolf and a ferocious predator, reality tells us a different story: the wolf is a shy animal that only crosses humans' path in search of food, often finding in our species its worst enemy, i.e. the one who has been the main responsible for its near extinction.


The persecution that has been inflicted upon these animals is leading to a decline of the geographical distribution of this species in Portugal, where wolf packs are now only identified in Northern regions with some evidence of getting towards the coastal area of Viana do Castelo. 


Aiming to preserve this protected species, a monitoring program coordinated by CIBIO-InBIO and supported by “Associação de Conservação do Habitat do Lobo Ibérico (ACHLI)” was established in 2007, which, until now, has allowed the surveillance of 15 animals by telemetry. Engaged in this project is Helena Rio-Maior, a researcher at CIBIO-InBIO who is studying this species for her PhD, and who has witnessed in first hand the survival of only 9 of these animals. To counteract the decline of the species, the Portuguese association “Grupo Lobo” launched in 1997 the program “Cão de Gado”, with the purpose of making available livestock-guarding dogs to local shepherds. This program helps the cattle owners by providing them with several solutions to avoid the attacks to their livestock perpetrated by wild dogs, which are often mistaken with wolves.


If you want to know more about these projects, please read the news piece published by Portuguese newspaper SOL:


Um predador ameaçado | SOL | Dec 12, 2014 (Portuguese only)

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