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Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 7th, 2013, 8:27 pm
by Liis

Wolves are fascinating animals.
Our relations and reactions to them are fascinating.

In the wolf year wolves deserve a topic of their own in Looduskalender forum.
History, biology, behaviour, experiences, folklore, hunting of and hunting by wolves - topic is open for all aspects.

Hopefully, we can attract the wolf specialists contributing on LK main page now and then, and maybe set up questions sessions as we have done earlier with experts. We have had some questions to and answers from Tiit Hunt, head zoologist at the Estonian Museum of Natural History in the Interviews with specialists topic, www.looduskalender ...viewtopic.php?f=12&t=78 (Estonian ”hunt” means wolf, by the way!)

Much of the hunting topic on forum has in fact been about the "hunt", wolf – but just a coincidence, hunting in Estonian is ”jaht”)!

Wolves seem to arouse intense and varying feelings in many countries and over times. Today, some countries are on the way to do away with wolves, others are trying to re-establish lost populations.

Estonia is a small country (45 000 sq kilometres) with a comparatively large, and never quite lost wolf population: around 200-250 animals, and much larger in a quite recent past. Sweden is a 10 times larger country (ca 450 0000 sq kilometres) on its way to reestablish a population that was down to 10-20 animals in the 1950ies-1970ies, accompanied by much disagreement. Population target number is hotly debated, around or less or more than present number (around 200+). Despite relative size of countries, the number is smaller than Estonia’s present and intended level. Conservationists in Finland have turned to the European Union to get a ban on the intended wolf hunt in Finland, wolf population about 150. Russia, again, has a very large wolf population in places and is definitely in the stage of striving to get control of it, by getting the number of wolves down drastically.

There does not seem to be the same fear and hate of wolves in Estonia – or is it only ”not yet”? Is the Estonian view of wolves basically different from very ancient times, as Ilmar Rootsi suggests? Or has the tolerance been merely acceptance of what seemed not possible to change? (Cf Wolfs share,

Our contacts with wolves have changed over times. The behaviour of wolves themselves may change. Life in and use of the countryside is changing.
How many have met a wild wolf? lived in a wolf area? hunted wolves? ”Trash can bears” have become an unpleasant nuisance. Do we have trash can wolves, or can there be?

Would we accept, as web camera viewers, that some of our friends among the boars get killed by a wolf? one of the pretty deer? some of the little ”stripeys”?

What are your thoughts, experiences, questions about wolves?

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 7th, 2013, 8:33 pm
by Jo UK
The howl of wolves.

This was recorded on our very own Wild Boar cam, in 2009. The recording opens in WMP. At about 37 seconds the howl begins, the boar stop what they are doing, then they vanish. At that point, increase the volume and let your spine tingle. It's a wonderful sound.


Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 7th, 2013, 9:54 pm
by Eden
It’s probably my personal feeling, but I sense resemblances between the songs of wolves and the songs of whales.
Both sounds seem to be of long ago, scary wonderful, very powerful, but also full of sadness and melancholy.

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 8th, 2013, 11:11 am
by Liis
The forum's second encounter with real wolves (well, IT and electronically, but still):
Maertha, quite new on forum then, was the very lucky person on Black Grouse Camera in May 2010.

Her story ...p69340:
"So this is what happened two days before. First there was nothing but the field, quiet and peacefull. In the background a low animal voice, maybe a lamb. Suddenly, very near, a loud trumpet sound: a crane. Then I saw the bird, running from the right side to the middle of the field. And then, next surprise – a wolf. He was following the crane busily, but he stopped a few seconds to look at the camera. Many thanks to looduskalender for this happy moment!"

... and her screencaps, at 69359

Congratulations again, Maertha!

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 11th, 2013, 3:33 am
by macdoum
There are so few wolves in France but the sheep farmers go crazy when there are reports or sightings of one animal. Here in the Vosges mts. a few months back a few sheep were supposedly killed by a wolf. The outcry was unbelievable & the sheep farmers raised such a storm,they got perrmission from the Prefect to hunt and kill the lone wolf.... I never heard (from newspaper) if they did manage to kill the animal.
I think its linked to the age-old fear the very thought of a wolf being near brings out this over-reaction.
Nature lovers did insist on putting cameras to confirm the identity of the predator... a wolf.... so all hell breaks out.
Its the same battle down in the Alpes & Pyrenees to the reintroduction of Brown bears.... sheep farmers getting the guns out. Never mind the the bears shun poulated areas.!! Govt,have to pay for all sheep lost... :slap: The pastures on the hills are considered private property. :rant: They are not. but have been appropiated by sheep farmers. :rant:

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 12th, 2013, 12:52 am
by Eden
It’s all the time and everywhere the same: humans believe that the earth belongs to them and no other creature has any rights, and every being threatening them or their property has to be defeated.

We have only a few wolves too, and the puppies in Niedersachsen in spring 2012 have been enthusiastically welcomed – at least by the media and friends of nature. But despite of the fact that we have only a few, some were shot by so called hunters, partly with the argument, that they believed to see a poaching dog (maybe glasses or better education would be advisable?).

Btw – did the sheep farmer never heard of guard dogs (like Ovtcharka, Kangal, Komondor etc. etc.)?

I just read that again a wolf is supposed to be in Alsace ( ... 70620.html) because they found a dead deer and experts believe that the brutality (!!!) of killing the deer indicates on a wolf.

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 12th, 2013, 11:07 pm
by ychri
hello to all of you enthusiastic!

two weeks ago (january, 30th, 15.25) a german birdwatcher saw a wolf at the käsmu-camera: ... 72030&pg=1

i would enjoy a wolves' feeding place camera, unless it woult take even more time to observe all this interesting places!

greetings, yvonne

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 12th, 2013, 11:38 pm
by Jo UK
Ychri, welcome to the forum.

Your suggestion for a wolf feeding place camera could present a small problem, but I know that, if anyone can solve it, our Kotkaklubi men can.

Enjoy the forum :wave:

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 13th, 2013, 12:11 am
by Liis
Long and interesting interview with Marko Kübarsepp, wolf researcher, on main page!

Did we miss a wolf at Käsmu :shock: ?
See ychri's post above

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 13th, 2013, 5:01 pm
by ychri
i mistook the metsa-camera for the käsmu-camera. i thought the wolf has been seen at the boars' feeding ground (in the forest) and did not wonder. then i realised that the käsmu-cam was meant by the birdwatcher which is showing a baltic sea shore and some houses.
is it unusual in Estonia that a wolf appears so near to buildings and villages or are the buildings you can see by the camera located in a very lonely area? in germany they avoid the contact and the approach to human settlements.

greetings, yvonne - and thank you for your welcome! :)

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 13th, 2013, 8:19 pm
by Jo UK
Yvonne - understandable mistake.
Aah, I was having such fun, imagining a webcam watching wolves eat - somewhere! That would be marvellous.

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 13th, 2013, 8:54 pm
by Liis
Jo UK wrote: ------------------
Aah, I was having such fun, imagining a webcam watching wolves eat - somewhere! That would be marvellous.
Might be difficult. i have a feeling that wild wolves - like lynxes - take their prey (or bits of it) along to eat somewhere else. But maybe I have that impression because we hear most about wolves "eating" domestic animals, and they are probably not killed in a peaceful setting, for a wolf's meal.

Wolf specialists, facts, please?

Would we have a wolf eating ground, or a wolf food fetching ground?

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 13th, 2013, 8:57 pm
by Felis silvestris
ychri - your friend must have seen one of the various dogs that are walked there (Käsmu) every day, we even see one coming and going alone every day and named him/her "Blacky" last winter. I can't imagine a wolf walking up there. Or maybe this would be a question to ask Marko Kübarsepp, in addition to the question if a wolf feeding ground would be something within possibility.

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 14th, 2013, 11:24 am
by Liis
Agreed that a dog is much more likely (it isn't all that easy to distinguish a wolf from a German Shepherd at a glance - even experienced country people are unsure at times).

But animals are unpredictable sometimes. There was that wolf walking across the Västerbron in Stockholm, in 2010 I think. Despite the green aspect in the photo this is City. Both bridge, length, location seem unlikely wolf terrain. Still, proof is said to exist.
The young lynx that visited Mustamäe, a Tallinn suburb, in summer 2011; more sensational really since lynxes are very secretive.

Wolf feeding ground camera: I think I would rather take the risk of many empty days with a camera at a wolf path, but without food as bait. Is it the bears that have kept wolves away from the Alutaguse camera by the way?

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 15th, 2013, 5:31 pm
by Eden
We have a second wolf pack in Saxony-Anhalt :loveshower: ... 15548.html
Probably at least 7 wolves: two adult ones with their puppies from last year.

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 17th, 2013, 6:54 pm
by macdoum
In todays edition of L'Alsace,our local newspaper the following artice re; A debate about wolves in our region; ... ur-sa-faim

I have a google translation but forget how to bring it here.... :banghead: :blush:

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 17th, 2013, 11:59 pm
by Eden
Opinions seem to be very controversial.

At least, they take safety precautions (enclos, filets, utilisation de chiens specializes) for sheep flocks into consideration.
Maybe the hunters should also think about not to kill so much deer, boars, foxes, hares and rabbits and leave them for the wolves – it’s their natural prey! Then the wolves wouldn’t depend on sheep.
Interesting that the sheep farmers have economical difficulties because sheep from New Zealand overstock the market. In light of this I understand that 250 wolves have been accused to have killed 5000 sheep last year in South-France….
(In Germany, the duck breeders seem to have economical problems too, they brought bird flu to mind.)

Btw, did France lodge a claim at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg to shoot these 250 wolves?
Acc. to the Bern Convention the wolf is categorized as endangered and may only be hunted if he is a risk for other species of animals. This Convention was also signed by France.
Switzerland has ca. 12 – 20 wolves on its territory and lodged 4 times a claim at the Council for shooting these wolves, the claim was 4 times rejected.
The territory of France is about 10 times bigger and they have (had?) ca. 250 wolves.

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 27th, 2013, 1:50 pm
by Liis
The wolf in Estonian folk traditions and beliefs -
in the Looduskalender articles there are now two quite different views:
Ilmar Rootsi's, saying that Estonians respected wolves and
vs. Marju Kõivapuu's, telling that Estonians saw the wolf as an unpleasant but rather silly creature :puzzled:

PS. Does anyone know of a nice, friendly song or poem or tale about wolves? About bears there is for instance a Swedish children's song, known by almost all, about little Olle who was picking blueberries in the forest and met a bear, gave it his berries and played with it and was very sorry when his mother took him away from his new friend:
Song ... and background story

Even the scouts have gone from Wolf Cub to just Cub Scout

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: February 28th, 2013, 6:46 pm
by Jo UK
On 26. February, at the Wild Boar webcam, ergee posted this
ergee wrote:Ct 00.14.Was that wolf howling or are some people joking??

ergee posted -The "wolf "has a loud and clear voice!! Has somebody there
a Husky? 2 voices...00.20....a Choir??
We asked if anyone had a recording of this reported wolf howl - Someone has!

This video was sent to me by Garina do mar.
Thank you, garina. Felis silvestris uploaded it to her Yotube account

Please bear in mind that there was some question about this - is it a genuine wolf howl, or is it a human having some fun? Please decide for yourselves. If you happen to know a wolf expert, we would like his/her opinion, too. ... 2VGksBlIOk

At the time, someone questioned the authenticity of the wolf howl - it may have been an imitation by a person.
Now, Liis has a reply from Bert Rähni of Alutaguse and 360 kraadi. He listened to Garina do mar's video and said he believes it is a wolf. If it is an imitation, then it is a very good one!

Re: Introducing Estonia's Wolves.

Posted: March 1st, 2013, 12:01 am
by Pitti
Interesting news! Thank you for information, Jo.