Despite many years of international protests, Norway still continues to ‘regulate’ its wolf population. For the upcoming winter season it does not look like it will change. The Regional Carnivore Committee for Innlandet og Oslo/Akershus now plans the removal of five wolf packs and pairs in the so-called ‘wolf zone’. In addition to the annual hunting quota of 12 individuals, it means that 44 wolves of the estimated 80 in Norway will not survive this winter.
Please also read: 180 hunters kill one Wolf pack in Norway
A border-case situation
Norway is a special case when it comes to culling of wolves in Europe. As the country is not a Member of the European Union, it follows different legislation. Even psychologists have studied Norway is actually killing wolves. Yet, by actively regulating its wolf population with annual killing parades, it is setting an example for many wolf-opponents in other European countries. However, EU countries cannot easily kill wolves like Norway and Sweden. For this winter, the Norwegians plan to get rid of the packs and pairs in Hornmoen, Hernes, Kynna, Aurskog and Rømskog. The latter is on the border between Norway and Sweden. It therefore requires that the Norwegians coordinate the shooting with the Swedish authorities. The countries will announce their final joint decision on October 8th.
It is very likely that Sweden will allow Norway to kill these border-cases. Contrary to last year, Sweden allowed hunting of wolves to regulate the population this year. The main reason for that is because the population grew from approximately 300 to about 365 individuals. However, in the meantime the conservation status of wolves in Sweden was demoted from ‘vulnerable’ (VU) to ‘endangered’ (EN), according to the latest assessment of the Red List Species 2020.
Killing for the benefit of people?
According to one of the biggest animal welfare organisations in Norway, NOAH, it is very likely that at least the packs in Kynna and Aurskog will receive a green light. This includes 14 individuals and a few additional wandering wolves outside the ‘wolf zone’. The mean reason for removing these packs is to relieve the people from the pressure to live near wolves, so it is being said. In the meantime, WWF has filed a case against the culling at the Supreme Court. A decision on this will come only in February 2021, which is very likely too late for many wolves.
It is unlikely that the situation will change soon, as Norway further weakened the legal protection of wolves last year. Despite many international protest against wolf killing in Norway, the Norwegians do not seem to be willing to change. Fortunately the number of people is growing to try and change their mind. People all over the world protested last year at Norwegian embassies against the culling.