Europe, with half of the land area and double the population density as the United States, is now home to twice as many wolves as the United States. And those wolves, along with other carnivores, are thriving!
A new study has shown that European carnivores are experiencing a massive resurgence in their numbers, and interestingly enough, mostly in areas of the continent that aren’t set aside as protected areas. This indicates that these carnivores and the people who settle near them are less at odds with one another than before. Additionally, some of that success is owed to international cooperation between European nations, strong regulations, and a much better public attitude.
In Europe, we don’t have unspoiled, untouched areas,” study leader Guillaume Chapron, a professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences’ Grimsö Wildlife Research Station. “But what is interesting is, that does not mean we do not have carnivores. Au contraire; we have many carnivores.”
Europe is now home to more than 17,000 brown bears, 9,000 lynx, and 12,000 wolves – all promising numbers that paint a thriving picture for these once endangered species. Additionally, wolverines, which are native to only the colder areas of Europe, like Norway, Sweden and Finland, are bouncing back as well with an estimate total of 1,250 individuals.