As they did in North America, wolves once roamed much of Europe. And, as in North America, wolves have suffered at the hands of humans. But for much longer. By the early 1500s, for example, wolves had been hunted and trapped to extinction in England. Sweden placed a bounty on wolves in 1647. They were eradicated from Scotland by the late 1600s and from Ireland and Denmark by the late 1700s.
The recovery of wolves in Europe began in the mid-1900s. Within thirty years, small and isolated wolf populations expanded as the human population declined in some rural parts of the continent and natural prey increased. Still, many European wolves now subsist on livestock and garbage, though moose, red deer, roe deer, and wild boar are important food sources in the more mountainous regions of Eastern Europe.
Here's a brief look at four European wolf countries:
About 1,500 wolves, possibly Europe's largest wolf population. There is growing human pressure on habitat, wolf-rancher conflicts, legal hunting, and poaching. In 2013, a Spanish advocacy group, Lobo Marley, gathered 198,000 signatures on a petition calling for the protection of wolves.