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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Study: Wolves, Bears and Other Wild Carnivores Thriving in Europe

Gray wolves

(Photo : Reuters) A pair of gray wolves.

Researchers reveal that large carnivores such as gray wolves, brown bears and wolverines including the Eurasian lynx populations are now recovering from decades of hunting and habitat loss.

Surprisingly, instead of living in protected natural areas, parks even remote regions around Europe, the animals have been spotted in non-protected areas where they seem to coexist with humans.

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Apart from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, the rest of Europe has become successful in the maintenance and the restoration of large carnivore populations on a continental scale where legal protection and stricter laws have been reinforced.

The rest of Europe consists of permanent breeding grounds of at least one kind of large carnivore according to researchers. Countries such as Luxembourg, Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands do not have any of those populations, however.

Brown bears numbering around 17,000 are found in the expanse of Scandinavia and the Balkans, which is also home to some 12,000 wolves. Wolves have now established themselves in Eastern Europe and in Germany, France and Italy and also the Iberian Peninsula.

This current study involves a team of 50 expert carnivore biologists from Europe. According to lead author Guillaume Chapron from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, there has been a shift in the public psyche that transformed hostility against these carnivores into one of tolerance.

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