Swiss association of the mountain villages, regions and landowners pledges for shooting of wolves

The Schweizerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für die Berggebiete (SAB), which represents among others Swiss alpine regions, villages and agricultural associations just released a positionpaper in which it argues that the wolf has no place in the alpine ecosystem anymore. According to the SAB,  the Alps are a human oriented cultural landscape and should not be converted into nature parks or nationalparks for the benefit of wild animals like wolves. The claim that wolves are a real threat to the tourism industry and to the regional development.

 

The local farmers increasingly protect their sheep with shepherd dogs, but these dogs pose a great threat to tourist hiking with pets on a leach. Unprotected sheep are often prey for wolves and that puts incredible emotional stress on the farmeers causing some of them to resign from their profession, In addition, the negative press from killing wolves is attributed to the membership of Switzerland in the Berner convention and the SAB therefore proposes to the Swiss government to cancel their membership to be able to kill wolves without violating European Laws. An additonal arguemtn that the wolves should be killed in Switzerland is  athat the wolf is not an endangered species anymore since the wolf population in Eastern Europe is on the rise.

Wolves in Europe

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One thought on “Swiss association of the mountain villages, regions and landowners pledges for shooting of wolves

  1. My name is Vincent Kennard. You don’t know me but I am the author of The Wolf Chronicles which is a fantasy novel so it has very little bearing on what I am about to suggest.

    I am also the founder of The Wolf Army International. An international organization for the preservation and reintroduction of wolves in the wild. With that we mean the wilderness areas still available for them.

    When it comes to wolves I am no layman. I have lived with them for two years in the Urals and done a lot of research on their behavioural patterns. I have been studying them since 1978.
    I may have a solution to your problems with wolves taking livestock. I do not say that wolves will not ever take livestock. That will be folly. No they will but very seldom. If livestock are protected properly I doubt there will be more than ten incidents a year and usually it will be because of a slip up by the particular farmer. Yes be aware of their presence.

    The problem that arises and why wolves do take the easiest available prey which is often sheep, is as old as the conflict between man and wolves. That wolves are being robbed of their staple diet. Rodents, hare, rabbits, ground birds, deer, elk, moose and bison but in particular the small creatures.

    These small creatures form the base of most farmers sport shooting and hunting. They are also wiped out for being “pests” but what is forgotten along the way is that these creatures are the natural “easy” food for wolves that keeps them going through winter and bad times. It also serves as the introduction phase of the wolf juveniles’ hunting education.
    Unlike many people think, wolves do not hunt for fun which you will obviously know. They are also not successful with every hunt with a low success rate of about 20% when hunting large prey. So most of the time they are extremely hungry, especially with the lack of the easy staple diets.
    Re-introduce these small creatures indigenous to the areas where your wolves habituate and do it in great numbers and you will find a sudden downward trend on livestock depredation.

    Please also note:

    No matter what anti wolf factions try to profess, wolves do not increase indefinitely. They are self regulating in that way. When food and territory are available they will increase in number. When times are tough they will decrease as they have smaller to no litters, pup survival is low and pack battles with rival packs increase as they try to expand territories to gain more food. They are their own worst enemy.

    My vision for wolves globally is that they are quite capable of co living with us. We must learn to live with them. Not to reintroduce them close to cities and to educate livestock farmers to farm with awareness of their presence. Also educate them to reintroduce the small creatures where there is lack. Shooting wolves on a public hunt, or ad hoc basis will increase livestock depredation especially in the absence of natural “easy” prey. Shooting them has a destabilizing effect on their social cohesion, even the killing of young ones.

    Keep to the rules and we can learn to live with nature and one of its iconic predators by being educated, vigil, and aware.

    Feel free to ask anything on wolf behaviour. I will be only to happy to oblige.

    I hope you take note of my advice and I wish you all good luck in your endeavours to make Switzerland a wilderness friendly state.

    Yours sincerely
    Vincent A Kennard

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