Wolf howls recorded in Jutland in January reveal that Denmark has probably had its first wolf pups born in the wild for well over 200 years.
Ulvetracking Danmark (UD), a group of wolf enthusiasts in Denmark, have gone to great lengths to register the sounds of the Danish wolves, and Holly Root-Gutteridge, an English wolf expert and PhD student at Nottingham Trent University, believes that the howls stem from an entire wolf family.
”There's at least two adults there. The one with a nice deep howl that's almost a baseline to the chorus is probably the male and father of the pups – it's rare to have unrelated males in the same pack," Root-Gutteridge told UD.
"Possibly three adults, but I need more analysis to be sure. The low-voiced wolf is more likely to be a pure wolf. There are also pups on there, but I can't seem to extract them from the recording”
Can't be sure
Root-Gutteridge analysed the howl recordings using a special computer program that has been developed to recognise individual wolfs based on their howl.
”I can't be sure with the puppies – how many, if any, as there's a lot of noise. Not little puppies but older ones, quite possibly. On the first recording, you can hear some higher howls, but those could be dogs. Not definitely, but I'd want a clearer recording to be 100 percent,” Root-Gutteridge said.
“Considering the recording was made in January, they might be wolves that are eight to ten months of age, and not quite fully developed howls. I'm really not sure.”
That possibility is strengthened by the fact that the two different sets of wolf tracks were found on 30 January 2013 in the same area in Jutland where the howls were recorded.
The first wolf in 200 years in Denmark was found dead in Jutland in November, 2012.