Wolves in Turkey

An interview with Ozgun Emre Can on Wolves In Turkey

  • Turkey holds a wolf population of about 7000 individuals. There are some local extinctions especially in the western parts of Turkey and the wolf population is declining in Turkey as a whole.
  • Historically, the wolf has officially been considered a pest species and so it was hunted throughout the year without any limits. It was only in 2003 that the wolf received a game species
    status. Now people cannot hunt wolves without limits according to the law, but since the wolf has been considered a pest until very recently, it will take some years before people really learn that
    the wolf has game species status now. This means that the wolf can only be hunted using established quotas.
  • The Kangal dogs are believed to be effective against limiting wolf damage to livestock. Although there is no scientific study investigating this claim, it is an old tradition to keep these particular dogs against wolves.There is currently a project that provides Kangals to livestock owners for protecting their livestock against wolves.
  • The hybridisation of Kangals is a serious threat to the breed. Therefore, we have to carefully select the right individuals and establish a countrywide breeding program. One issue that shepherds raise is they can not easily find Kangals. It is a strong dog and I know that people have been using them to limit wolf, cheetah andleopard damage to livestock in different parts of the world.


Canis lupus is one of the most important but least studied species of Turkish fauna, however, livestock depredation and recently increased number of publications on attacks on humans intensifies human-wildlife conflict. In this study, wolf depredation is studied in Bozda? in the province of Konya where conflicts between wolves and livestock holders are well known.

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