a Wolf from the Central European lowland population; Credit: LJN

Luxembourg's Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, together with the Nature and Forests Administration, have confirmed that they cannot discount that a wolf was responsible for the killing of a sheep in Wincrange.

About three weeks ago, a dead sheep was found in a field in the Wincrange area, which was very likely to have been killed by a predator. A wolf could not be ruled out on the basis of the report by experts from the nature administration. For the purpose of checking by means of genetic analyses, samples were taken from the bite wounds of the dead sheep. The samples were examined at the Senckenberg Institute in Gelnhausen (Germany), which is the reference laboratory in this area. Due to the fact that the carcass had already been in the sun for a long time, however, it was no longer possible to secure any usable DNA material, as the laboratory analyses did not give any clear results.

The following is now official: The species analysis has shown on the basis of three samples that the animal that killed a sheep in the Wincrange area was either a dog, a golden jackal or a wolf. A wolf could therefore neither be confirmed nor excluded. The aggrieved sheep farmer is therefore compensated 75%, as provided for in the action and management plan for dealing with wolves in Luxembourg in such cases.

The first reliable evidence of a wolf was in 2017 in the Holzem-Garnich area, and another in 2020 in the Niederanven area. There was also a confirmed sighting near Fouhren in 2018.

Luxembourg residents are asked to report any possible indications of the presence of wolves to the nature administration for monitoring purposes (email: wolf@anf.etat.lu).

Action plan Wolf 2017 presented to the public

The wolf is strictly protected throughout Europe. In recent years, Luxembourg has already prepared for the possible return of the wolf in order to define from the outset how to deal with this animal species. This has been done in the action and management plan for dealing with wolves in Luxembourg, which was drawn up together with all stakeholders from agriculture, science, nature conservation, private forest owners and hunting, and was presented to the public in 2017.

Wolves are generally shy - the brochure provides information on rules of conduct

Wolves usually avoid direct contact with humans. Encounters between humans and wolves are therefore extremely rare, but not impossible. As a rule, wolves retreat as soon as they notice a person, but they can also be curious and take a closer look at the person before they retreat. In the brochure “Wolves in Luxembourg?” one can find a lot of other information about wolves as well as rules of conduct that should be followed in the event of an encounter with a wolf.

The Wolf action plan and the brochure on rules of conduct are available free of charge from the nature administration on tel: 247-56600 and in the administration's visitor centres: Mirador in Steinfort, A Wiewesch in Manternach, Ellergronn in Esch-Alzette, Biodiversum in Remerschen and Burfelt near Insenborn. The documents can also be found online at www.emwelt.lu