Monitoring the Alpine wolf population

The wolf Neža in search of her territory

27 October 2023
University of Ljubljana

We caught and fitted with a GPS collar the wolf Neža on 17.10.2022 at Jelovica plateau. We estimated her to be half a year old at the time. In the second half of December, the pack had an interesting “excursion” outside its home range, when it moved through Vogel to the Voja valley, all the way to Pokljuka, and then returned to its home range by passing Goreljek and the area west of Bohinjska Bistrica.

The wolf Neža in search of her territory - Life Wolfalps EU

Until the second half of February 2023, the wolf continued to move with the pack, but then she started to show the first signs of dispersal (moving away from its primary pack in search of her territory). She first tried to move towards the Škofja Loka Hills, but soon returned, and a few days later tried dispersal again, this time towards Cerkno. She returned the second time after three days and tried to go to Pokljuka, but she returned even the third time to her home area.

In March 2023, she went towards the Škofja Loka Hills again, crossed the Polhov Gradec Dolomites and went towards Razdrto, where she failed to cross the Ljubljana – Koper highway. She then turned around and returned to the Polhov Gradec Dolomites area, where she is still staying. We have not yet confirmed whether she has found a partner there. It seems that she is still moving around on her own.

After one year of monitoring, she has travelled a minimum of 5050 km, if we only consider the linear distances between the GPS points captured by the collar. This distance is most probably at least 50% higher (approx. 7500 km) as the animal does not move as linearly between the captured locations as shown on the map.