Recently, in Germany, there has been controversy over the return of Grey wolves. A couple hundred years ago wolves were thriving in Germany but eventually with the introduction of livestock there numbers began to dwindle. Sometime between the 18th and 19th century wolves became extinct in Germany due to deforestation and human persecution. Beginning in the early 2000’s wolves began returning to Germany from neighboring countries. With their return came controversy. The small village (Sankt Märgen) I live in is one of the many places where the wolves aren’t being welcomed back with open arms. One of the reasons so many people are upset over their return is because of the many small farms in this area. Farmers are worried about their cows being attacked and killed. I can see the argument here but I have a hard time feeling sympathy because really what’s the difference between a wolf or a person eating a cow. So based off that statement you can probably guess where I stand on the issue.
I, being a lover of animals, would love to see wolves back in this part of Germany. I think that it is only fitting that they return since they were originally from here. This issue of predators returning is not an issue that is unique to Germany. In other parts of the world many thought to be extinct predators are returning after long periods of absence and this has caused . Like most apex predators, wolves play a vital role in restoring balance to the wild ecosystem. According to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) wolves prey mostly on deer and wild boar. By limiting the number of these herbivores, wolves help to keep the plant life in forests healthy and thus the ecosystem remains balanced. Unfortunately, it isn’t only farmers that don’t want the return of these animals it is also hunters. Many hunters believe that with the return of these animals then there won’t be enough deer or wild boar for humans to eat. I find this argument ironic because it isn’t about saving deer or wild boar. It is about saving these animals for humans to eat. I don’t think that this is really a fair argument plus there is plenty of other things that people can eat!
As of yet, wolves haven’t made a comeback in Southern Germany. Wolves are a legally protected species in Germany. Nevertheless, it seems as though every time a wolf is spotted it turns up dead a few weeks later. People take the issue into their own hands and end up shooting the wolves and most of the time they are never caught. There are arguments on both sides of this issue but ultimately I think that the wolves should be allowed to come back. For farmers there are systems they could put in place to protect their livestock and they are the following: building different electronic enclosures to secure their livestock, purchasing large herding dogs to protect their livestock, and/or bringing all animals inside at night. I believe that there are solutions to this problem that don’t involve killing these beautiful animals.
I have created a poster in both English and German to reiterate my opinion on this topic. It can be viewed via the link provided.