Update 1. January 2020 – We were just informed that the Ministry of Climate and the Environment of Norway has upheld the decision on the shooting of the wolf pack Letjenna in the wolf zone, altogether six animals.
On the first day of the hunt, four animals have been killed – the breeding pair and two of their offspring – young wolves of one-year old.
The other two packs – Mangen and Rømskog – will be spared. The reasoning behind the shooting is alleviating conflict around wolf management in Norway. The Ministry argues that because the population target for wolves – which is 4-6 reproductions per year – set by the Parliament has been met, it is necessary to revert to shooting of reproductive families to keep the population at the target level. They state that otherwise the level of conflict in the society would increase to an unacceptable level.
The Norwegian government continues to keep their wolf populations at the verge of extinction. The Ministry of Climate and Environment gave the license to kill 26 wolves already for this season. Three more wolfpacks are awaiting the decision for their future. If the Ministry allows also killing of these 17 wolves, half of the wolf population will be dead by the start of 2019. The Norwegian organisation NOAH approached European Wilderness Society to support the efforts to stop this. Together with many other organisations, we will urge the Norwegian Prime Minister and Minister of Climate and Environment to reconsider the decision. Support the efforts to avoid this catastrophe.
Wildlife management asks for killing
In Norway there is a so-called wolf zone, which takes up 5% of the country. In these wolf-zones, legislation should protect wolves better than in the rest of the country. However, the regional wildlife management board now decided that it is better to kill every wolf in there. The board wants to prevent that the wolf-zone becomes a wolf reserve. This raises the question, why?
The Norwegian wolf population shares borders with the Swedish territory. Many wolves wander between the two countries. However, since Sweden reduced the wolf population with 26% since 2014/2015, the Swedish authority banned wolf hunts. It is incomprehensible that the Norwegian authorities continue to take decisions opposite of their neighbouring countries.
Please also read: How Spain brutally reduces it Wolf Population.
Killing is no solution
International examples show that culling of wolves does not increase the tolerance nor acceptance towards wolves among the general public. As many neighbouring countries can prove to Norway, the best way to find a solution to a sustainable coexistence between people and wildlife is the usage of proper livestock protection measures. Just last month, the German province of Lower Saxony published the data showing wolf packs increase by a third, while damages decrease by half. Wolves and other large carnivores bring back a balance to the ecosystems in Europe.