Camera-traps set up to monitor wolves have identified a previously unknown pack of the predators comprising three adults and seven pups.
A wildlife guard reported the presence of the wolves in the Chablais region on August 21 to the Valais Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife Service. Signs of the presence of the predators in the region were first identified in January. Monitoring was stepped up with more camera traps and acoustic sensors to obtain irrefutable proof that a pack had settled in the area.
Analysis of the images confirmed the presence of two males and a breeding female, along with the seven pups.
There are around 30-40 wolves living in Switzerland, but they have an uneasy relationship with people who live in the same areas. The predator, which returned to the country in the 1990s after being exterminated, is protected under the Bern Conventionexternal link.
Wolves can only be killed if the local authorities issue a permit. This is usually done only if a wolf kills a certain number of livestock over a period of time. However, the Swiss parliament recently agreed to make it easier to shoot them. The animals are also illegally killed with the most recent incident occurring in April.