Dreaming of Wolves

Conflict and Coexistence in Transylvania

A shepherd along with his dogs tend a flock of sheep near Pestera, Romania, in the vicinity of Piatra Craiului National Park. The wolves of the Carpathians, together with another large carnivore of the region, the European Brown Bear, pose a threat to sheep and other livestock which graze the mountain pastures, taking about 1.2% of the animals each year.

While they might be expected to be suspicious of people perceived to be working for the benefit of their ancient adversaries – the large carnivores of Romania – the shepherds were generally friendly towards personnel of the Carpathian Large Carnivore Project during the author's sojourn in Romania. Their dogs, however, were not, and were the source of several highly charged confrontations described in Dreaming of Wolves. Such encounters are common for anyone walking the rural byways of Romania, but the dogs are only doing their job as they serve the important role of safeguarding livestock from predators. The CLPC conducted studies and developed strategies to help the shepherds and their dogs better protect the flocks.

© Alan E. Sparks. All rights reserved.