It has been confirmed! An animal seen in Calvados, France was a male wolf. They have not been seen in this part of France for over 100 years.
This is an incredibly rare encounter to film. The Apennine wolf is shy, as this is the only way it has survived. Thankfully, in recent decades it has bounced back, but it has at recent points in time, come close to extinction.
It should be noted, that most if not all of the wolves in France are descended from Apennine wolves that crossed from Italy in the 1990s. Having said this, with a growing Iberian wolf population, it is highly likely that in coming decades (unless western Europe goes back to slaughtering wolves, to close to the point of extinction) the Iberian and Apennine wolf populations start to merge once again. While some may worry about the loss of wolf subspecies, all of the European wolf subspecies are from a single species, and their isolation was only as a result of humanity, so the remerging of these subspecies can only be seen as good.
It is likely, however, that subspecies characteristics will linger, perhaps indefinitely, especially in their heartlands. This is because wolves will not see them as a separate species, but will simply treat them as wolves. As such, they will recognize that an area is already held as wolf territory (this is why they howl – it is a means to avoid actually fighting). This is not to say, that along boundaries we might get packs which are a cross between the two subspecies. This is as it would have been in the past, and so is not a bad thing.
Below, you will see a video of a rare encounter between the Apennine wolf, and the highly endangered Marsican bear – as of 2022, only around 50 of this bear subspecies remain – this is enough, for this subspecies to recover and and thrive into the future, provided it is given the space to do so.
As we make connections which might help you see this species in the wild, they will be added at the bottom of the page. Do get in touch if you work in tourism around this species, we would love to list your services (click on list your wild place, on the menu bar on the home page (or here)