Finland’s wolf population is currently estimated to be between 185 and 205 specimens, according to a report complied by Luke, the National Resources Institute Finland. In March of last year, the institute estimated the total number of wolves in Finland to be at 165-190 and around 150-180 wolves in 2017.
“We have to take out more young wolves, to get down to the number of wolves the Parliament has agreed upon,” insisted Erling Aas-Eng, leader of Hedmark Bondelag, the farmers’ organization and lobby group in Hedmark County, to state broadcaster on Tuesday. “We can’t have uncontrolled growth (of the wolf population) in the wolf zone.”He was referring to the areas that were supposed to be set aside as conservation zones to protect Norway’s wolf population. Two wolves were shot last week in the zone around the popular ski resorts at Trysil in eastern Hedmark County. It was the first time the government has allowed wolves to be killed in a wolf zone, setting off protests from those striving to protect wolves, but that hasn’t pleased or satisfied Aas-Eng and others who still feel threatened by the roughly 65 wolves now believed to roaming in Norway.
Norway’s wolf hunts, demanded mostly by farmers determined to allow their livestock to graze freely, have always been controversial. This one is especially so, because it allows hunting in an area that had been set aside as a protected zone where wolves would be allowed to exist.Government officials’ decision to allow the hunt over the protests of environmental and wildlife conservationists prompted activists just over the border in Sweden to try to sabotage it on Tuesday. A group called “Hunt Saboteurs Sweden” announced that they had localized the hunters and knew where they’d be gathering.
The ongoing battle between those trying to preserve Norway’s wolf population and farmers wanting to preserve free-grazing traditions for their sheep and lambs has moved into grocery stores. Wolf supporters are joining a boycott rooted in social media against the purchase of all meat caught in conflicts.
Vinterns vargjakt är den första hittills i och på gränsen till den norska så kallade vargzonen, som sträcker sig längs gränsen mot Värmland. Zonen är det enda område i Norge där vargfamiljer med valpar tillåts leva.Totalt 16 djur fick skjutas i två vargflockar, men när de fällts visade det sig finnas fler vargar kvar i flockarna. Den norska regeringen beslutade då att utöka jakten i Hedmark med ytterligare tre djur, som nu fällts. Två av dem sköts i början av veckan från helikopter.
The licensed hunt started on Tuesday.Campaigners had appealed to the highest administrative court in Sweden less than a week before the start of the hunt. The Supreme Administrative Court has not yet decided whether or not to grant them leave to appeal, but said it would not call off the hunt at the eleventh hour in the meantime.Eight wolves were shot on Tuesday, two of whom were found to have scabies, reports hunting magazine Svensk Jakt.
Wolves in Norway are a hot-button issue, with the latest arguments related to whether or not the animals can be hunted or if they are protected by an international wildlife convention.But virtually no one disputes that the isolated population of 430 wolves in Scandinavia is highly inbred, descended from a handful of animals that arrived in the region in the 1980s and 1990s.