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.
For the third time this month, wildlife officials said they would kill wolves in Northeast Oregon in response to attacks on livestock.A rancher in Umatilla County had asked the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to eradicate the Meacham Pack, but state officials said Thursday they would allow no more than two animals to be killed. The pack had seven members as of December 2016.For the first time, Oregon is considering allowing ranchers to kill the wolves under a “limited duration wolf kill permit,” rather than rely on state officials.
“SJALDAN liggjandi ulfr laer um getr,” goes a passage in the Havamal, a medieval Norse poem: “The sleeping wolf seldom gets a ham.” The maxim, like the one about early birds and worms, is an exhortation against laziness, but it also conjures a vision of Norway as a land of untamed nature, where wolves chase boars through snow-bound forests. This may have been true in the 10th century, but today the country’s wild fauna are not doing as well. Wolves are rare, and the government is under pressure to cull them further. Another iconic species faces a different threat: chronic wasting disease (CWD), a sort of mad cow disease that can infect reindeer.
Support for Norway’s Conservative (Høyre) party, the largest party in the country’s coalition government, has dropped by seven points in some areas.The pole, carried out by InFact on behalf of broadcaster NRK along with a number of local newspapers, shows a swing away from the party in both Hedmark and Oppland counties.Høyre’s main parliamentary candidate for Hedmark County Kristian Tonning Riise told NRK that he believed the lost ground could be the result of a recent debate on control of wolves in Norway, in which a parliamentary proposal on wolf control was not supported by Høyre, resulting in the culling of 47 wolves being reduced to 15.
On Friday, a Supreme Administrative Court announced plans to shoot 24 wolves could go ahead, despite massive protests it could lead to the extinction of the magnificent beasts in the Scandinavian country.Torbjorn Nilsson, the President of the Swedish Association predators, hit out against the ruling as he said the Swedish wolf population was already so low it could compromise its future in the wild. He said: “I think it’s an unfortunate and surprising decision.“It is unfortunate because the wolf population is still quite small, very inbred and too isolated. Therefore, one should not hunt in this way.”
Vidar Helgesen, the Norwegian minister for climate and environment, announced Tuesday that the government denied permission to shoot the four wolf packs in the areas of Letjenna, Osdalen, Kynna and Slettås. The government concluded that there is no legal basis for the hunt, neither in the national nature protection laws nor in the Bern Convention, acknowledging the appeal from Friends of the Earth Norway to stop the hunt.
Source: Huge Victory for Norway’s Wolves
Residents of the eastern town of Nurmes in Finland will be testing out a new invention designed to keep their pets safe next spring: A safety vest for dogs that contains chili cartridges.If a wolf attacks a dog wearing the vest and punctures the fabric, the cartridges release chili powder that sprays on the wolf’s face and mouth.Prototypes of the product were available already in 2014, but the actual vests will be trailed for the first time in Finland in the spring of 2017. People who have agreed to participate in the testing have been asked to keep a list of the pros and cons of the invention.