Responsible travel: Alpine Wolf tracking holiday, France
Wolves were officially hunted out of France at the beginning of the 20th century. However, there has always been a population in Italy. Gradually over the years, the Italian wolves have migrated back into the French Alps. The first official sightings were in 1992 and 1993 in the Alpes Maritimes.
The wolves have continued to spread west and north looking for new territories and the Southern Alps, with its wild and unspoilt mountains rich in chamois, mouflon, wild boar, deer and other prey is a perfect habitat. It is estimated that there is at least one large pack and several solitary wolves living here.
The lynx's story is similar. Again it was officially wiped out of France in the 1930s but has always had a presence in eastern Europe. Gradually, like the wolves it has migrated in search of new territories and has sought out the Southern Alps for it's rich habitat. Very solitary and discreet, it's presence is only confirmed by rare sightings and animal attacks.
This trip provides a good education and insight into the fragile equilibre of the natural environment by seeing first hand the effects of the wolves on the local habitat. During the tracking care is taken not to disrupt this natural balance and we keep the exact known location of wolves and lynx secret to protect them.
Our office policy is to be as paperless as possible, to use recycled paper where necessary and re-use envelopes and jiffy bags where possible.
The local economy of the Alps in winter is predominantly supported by the ski industry, which other than providing an income for local people is not the most responsible holiday for the environment! However it is often the only way local people can earn a living. Our wolf tracking holiday provide an alternative means of making a living for the local people so they arent only reliant on the ski resorts. For example, the high mountain guide and wildlife expert is also a ski instructor and he has reduced his contract with the ski school in order to have more time to invest in the wolf tracking trips and other more environmentally friendly holidays which we are very pleased about! We always use local guides and instructors and rather than bringing over foreign guides. We use local accommodation rather than large chains to support the local economy.