Facts & Figures | WWF

Facts & Figures

© Wild Wonders of Europe /Sergey Gorshkov / WWF © Wild Wonders of Europe /Sergey Gorshkov / WWF © Ralph Frank / WWF Germany © naturepl.com / Edwin Giesbers / WWF © Wild Wonders of Europe /Sergey Gorshkov / WWF © naturepl.com / Edwin Giesbers / WWF © © Ana Fuentes © Ralph Frank/ WWF Germany

Wolves: who are they?

We hear a lot about the wolves, but how much do we really know about this beautiful and rare animal?
The wolf is the ancestor of the domestic dog. It is as big as a medium sized dog of 30-40 kg. It has longer limbs, a powerful chest, a head with larger and receding forehead, oblique eyes and erect ears. 

Wolves pair for life and prefer to travel with their family. In the life of a young wolf comes the day when he is on his way and leaves the family.  He would travel long distances would walk about 300 to 500 km when searching for new habitat and a partner to build a family with.  

Have you  heard about the incredible journey of Slavc, the wolf who traveled  200 km  to find his Juliet?

Learn more about the wolves 

Wolves in Europe: protection and threats

Wolves have always lived in Europe in countries like Italy, Croatia, Spain, Bulgaria and in the Baltic states. After more than a century they are now present in 20 EU members States.

Even though wolves are legally protected by EU Birds and Habitats Directive, poaching remains a problem all over Europe. 

Only about 12.000 wolves currently live in Europe. The main threats faced by the wolf are:

  • Low human acceptance – fed by many negative fairy tales
  • Habitat fragmentation (resulting in non-viable populations)
  • Poor management structures
  • Accidental mortality – in particular in traffic
  • Modification of genetic identity caused the hybridization of wolves with stray dogs is also a major threat. ​

What WWF is doing

WWF is strengthening wolf populations in Europe, e.g. by helping them spread into suitable areas.

This includes research projects to evaluate wolf populations and measures that address the concerns of farmers and locals who feel threatened by the presence of wolves.

WWF works to protect the habitats and ecosystems on which the wolf depends. Explore the interactive map below to find more details about projects.