The wolf has been protected throughout Poland since 1998. Now, according to official data, there are about 2,000 wolves in whole Poland.
Before 2001, data on wolf occurrence and numbers in the country were provided by hunting inventories, which frequently overestimated numbers by as much as 100%. Since 2001, a regular large-scale census of wolf and lynx populations, co-ordinated the Mammal Research Institute PAS in Białowieża and the Association for Nature "Wolf", has been conducted for the whole of Poland, in close co-operation with foresters from all forest divisions. Between 2001 and 2005, the increase in both the number and range of the wolf population was recorded only in areas east of the Vistula river and in the Carpathians. Thus wolves’ distribution was mostly limited to the northeastern, eastern, and southern parts of the country. In central and western Poland only few individuals were recorded. However since 2005 wolves have begun to resettle Western Poland. Currently these big predators gradually re-colonise forests where they were extirpated by people dozens years ago.
Poland, due to its location in the central part of Europe, is one of the most important refuges of this carnivore, and is an important source of dispersing individuals to regions where it was eradicated many years ago.
Telemetry studies conducted in Poland revealed that wolf pack territories cover 200-400 km2. Therefore it is not possible to preserve a viable population of these predators entirely within protected areas, as they are too small. Long-term conservation of this species needs to focus on managed forests, which make up 28% of the area of Poland. The majority of wolf territories include forests, where the impact of intensive logging, tourism, and recreation is visible. Recently wolf habitats and ecological corridors have been seriously threatened with disruption by rapid development of transportation infrastracture to ensure the effective connection of Poland with other EU countries through the Trans-European Transportation Network (TEN-T).