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Finland, Sweden and Norway will exterminate the wolf population | CONSERVATION




Finland is joining Sweden and Norway in exterminating wolves this winter to control their population, while conservation groups are calling on the European Union to take action against the massacre.

Hunters in Sweden have already killed most of their annual target of 27 wolves, while Finland will authorize the killing of 20 wolves in its first population management gathering in seven years.

Norway will kill about 60% of its wolves this winter, 51 animals to keep a maximum of just three breeding pairs in the country, with its population including animals living between Sweden and Norway limited to four to six pairs breeding.

Conservatives accuse Nordic nations of creating the most hostile environment for wolves in Western Europe and of violating EU species protection laws, which has returned in recent years but remains endangered in many countries.

“It’s a terrible situation,” said Siri Martinsen, chief executive Noah, an animal rights group that is challenging the hunting of Norwegian wolves in its courts. The management of wolves in Norway is out of control and they are just hunting wolves because some people do not like them. It is wild to keep a species at a critically endangered level.

In Norway, 5% of the country is designated as a wolf protection area, where wolf protection is a priority. Nonetheless, 25 wolves will be killed within the protection zone this winter, unless the court action by Noah, along with WWF Norway and the Our Predators Association, is successful.

Wolves found outside the protection zone are not allowed to breed and are killed if a regional committee decides that they may pose a threat to livestock or semi-domesticated deer.

While Norway is not a member of the EU, wildlife groups say its wolf breeding violates the law Berne Convention for the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats.

Christian Anton Smedshaug, State Secretary to the Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, said: Keeping the Norwegian wolf population at this level is a political compromise reached by a majority in parliament in 2016, in order to maintain both wolves and livestock production in Norway and create a different bridge. social views in Norway.

The main concern for managing large carnivores in Norway is to maintain livestock grazing, with as little loss as possible. Furthermore, livestock also contributes to common goods such as cultural landscapes and biological diversity.

Wolves prey on hunting animals and the presence of wolves can affect hunting in the area. Wolves can also pose a threat to dogs used to hunt small and large prey. However, reducing the effects on hunting is not a major objective behind the population target or a major focus on managing large carnivores.

In Sweden, wildlife groups say the population estimate of 395 for 2020-2021 could have fallen below 300 by the end of winter.

Sweden has promised the EU that we should not go below 300, this is the minimum, said Magnus Orrebrant, chairman of the NGO. Swedish Predators Association. We have informed the EU that 300 is too low. We have habitats that can accommodate more than 1000 wolves.

The common denominator in Norway, Sweden and Finland are powerful hunting organizations that bother politicians, Orrebrant added. There are no farms near some of the herds that are hunting this winter. Wolves have not created any problems, but it is an important place to hunt the mole and hunters want a large deer population.

Hunters also oppose wolves because they kill highly prized hunting dogs, widely used in the Nordic countries to hunt prey and deer.

Finland’s wolf population of 300 is the highest in a century, according to Sami Niemi, an official from the agriculture and forestry ministry in charge of managing wolves.

Modeling by Institute of Natural Resources Finland says that the population of genetically healthy wolves should be more than 500.

The long-term goal is to achieve genetic resilience of the wolf population, Niemi said. When setting the goal for management hunting, we took into account that we were not aiming for population reduction. The purpose of management hunting is to increase tolerance towards the wolf population, especially among people who share their environment with wolves.

From the argument, killing wolves assures troubled rural communities that wolf populations are under control and thus reduces illegal killing, Sami Synevirta i Nature Association, a Finnish wildlife charity, said: This argument has been made for many years, but we still have the problem of poaching. The authorities must act realistically to prevent it.

There should be a change of attitude towards wildlife. It is important to talk about the benefits of the wolf as they play a key role in a healthy ecosystem, but the news about wolves is very focused on the downside.

Professor Fiona Matthews, Founding Chair of Mammal Conservation Europe, said: “It seems extraordinary that countries are openly doing things that are illegal under the EU Habitats Directive. You think these countries will be able to live with their predators, especially given their low population density. It seems to be driven by the interests of hunting and the argument that wolves are a danger to hunting dogs.

Wildlife groups in Finland and Sweden have appealed to the European Commission and the European Court of Justice to declare wolf killings illegal, but both national governments claim that derogations from the habitat directive allow for legal destruction.

In Norway, Martinsen called on other European countries to intervene and lodge complaints in the Berne Convention, in order to stop this situation where Norway is leading the way towards tolerating a policy of extinction and by preventing these conventions from apply the letter on which they are written.




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