Norway reprieves 32 of 47 wolves earmarked for cull

Under Norway’s endangered predator laws, only 15 lone wolves proved to pose a threat to livestock

 There are only an estimated 68 wolves in Norway. The 15 wolves to be hunted are lone wolves more prone to killing sheep. Photograph: Kevin Rushby

There are only an estimated 68 wolves in Norway. The 15 wolves to be hunted are lone wolves more prone to killing sheep. Photograph: Kevin Rushby

The Norwegian government has issued a last-minute reprieve for 32 of the 47 wolves that had been earmarked for a cull to protect sheep flocks.

The plans to kill two-thirds of the country’s wolves caused outrage among conservationists at home and abroad when they were announced by local predator management boards in September, with warnings the cull would be disastrous for the species.

But on Tuesday Vidar Helgesen, minister of climate and the environment, refused to sanction the cull, saying lawyers at the justice ministry had concluded it would contravene domestic biodiversity legislation and the international Bern convention.

The laws state that culling of endangered predators – there are an estimated 68 wolves in Norway – can only be granted if there is a satisfactorily documented risk of damage to livestock. This proved not to have been the case with 32 wolves from four packs in the county of Hedmark.

The other 15 animals which will still be hunted are young lone wolves which range over greater distances and are more prone to killing livestock, and environmental groups have not objected to these being culled.

“This is a great day and the best Christmas present you could wish for,” said Nina Jensen of WWF Norway. “At last the government has shown that Norwegian wolves also have protection in law. It is a protected species that is critically endangered and has a natural place in Norwegian fauna.”

The Guardian

Categories: Conservation, Ecology, Endangered species, Environment, Europe, Norway, Top stories, Wildlife conservation, Wildlife ecology, World news

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6 replies

  1. Good to hear that so many finally stood up and are protecting the wolves. Amazing animals and so smart.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You may recall that last December over 11,000 people competed for licenses to shoot 16 Norwegian wolves out of a then estimated population of 30 wolves. Clearly, this violates the Bern Convention on conservation of European wildlife.

      I like to think that we played some small part it helping to focus public attention on this ridiculous slaughter.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I do remember – now that you brought it up. I signed several petitions related to this slaughter. I am positive you are correct. We played a small role but that is the power of unity/working together.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Isn’t the effect of climate changes at wildlife enough in reducing the precious irreplacable fauna ?
    The number of wolves is not so big to pose a serious threat

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s an interesting question, Fada. I don’t know how climate change has effected northern European wildlife.

      The number of livestock being lost is so small that destroying Norway’s wolf population to protect a few common domestic animals makes absolutely no sense. In the United States, one simple solution that has been used is to compensate ranchers for the fair market value of their lost animals.

      Of course, once a wolf or any other predator becomes habituated to hunting specific types of prey, they can pose a problem.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t know either about the effect of climate change in Norway but, I’ve read an alarming U.S. Geological Survey made in the arctic area, projects that two thirds of polar bears will disappear by 2050

        Liked by 1 person

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