The wolf is perhaps the most charismatic and controversial of the large predators living in Europe today; few animals have such a powerful influence on our imaginations, or have been so feared and misunderstood.
Wolves were was once found all over Europe, including the British Isles, but as human populations expanded and forests were cleared for agriculture, they were increasingly persecuted. By the mid-eighteenth century wolves had disappeared from Britain, and by the mid-twentieth century only small, isolated populations survived in western Europe and in the remote mountainous regions of central and eastern Europe.
Wolves have made a comeback in many countries in recent years, due to increased environmental awareness, legal protection and conservation measures, but their future is now threatened by increasing loss of habitat and conflict with livestock farming.
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