STOP THE PROPOSED WOLF CULL IN NORWAY
25 environmental NGOs in Norway, Sweden and Finland on behalf of 800.000 members are calling for a more ambitious, responsible and long-term management plan for our shared large carnivore populations, to safeguard their existence in the Fennoscandian ecosystems. We encourage the governments of Norway, Sweden and Finland to establish a joint management platform for large carnivores, beginning with the wolf.
The Scandinavian wolf population is suffering from isolation, reduced genetic variation and inbreeding. Sweden has approximately 300 wolves, and the wolf is classified as Endangered on the national Red List. Finland’s wolf population has now been reduced to less than 20 individuals, and is classified as Endangered in the Red List. In Norway the wolf population size is down to 25 individuals in total. Wolves in Norway are listed as Critically Endangered in the Red List. The politically defined population target allows only three annual litters, which is the main reason for the current Red List classification. Furthermore, only around one per cent of Norway’s territory is designated for occupation by wolves.
We are alarmed at the lack of measures to improve this situation and secure the long-term survival of the wolf in Fennoscandia. What we have seen over the last few years is in fact political initiatives that move in the opposite direction, including lowering population targetlevels and increased hunting of wolves.
Our immediate cause for concern is the meeting on November 21 between the Swedish and Norwegian Governments, which will discuss the future of the Swedish/Norwegian transborder wolves in relation to national targets. In 2011/2012 three breeding packs had territories on both sides of the border. It is crucial to note that two of them breed on the Swedish side of the border. It is highly likely that Norway will claim 50 per cent of the transborder packs, which – through a manipulation of numbers – would increase the Norwegian wolf population by 50 per cent. This would make it possible for Norway to reduce the number of solely Norwegian wolves by the same number, still meeting its unacceptably low national goal of no more than three annual litters.
At this point, discussions on wolf management between our countries should not focus on details such as principles and procedures for counting the populations in each of the Nordic countries. We urge our Governments to take this opportunity to start with the right perspective, by initiating a process to develop a common framework with clear management principles for the Fennoscandian wolf population.
These principles should underline the shared responsibility between Norway, Sweden and Finland, and aim to strengthen management at national level in such a way that it enables the achievement of favorable conservation status for our shared wolf population.
demonstrate the urgent need for Norway to extend its responsibility for the shared Scandinavian wolf population, by increasing its population target.
include safeguarding genetic contact between the Scandinavian and Finnish-Russian wolf populations, which is politically restricted today.
It is our conviction that a shared management framework, based on the above principles, is crucial for the future survival and well-being of the Fennoscandian wolf population as well as for our Governments’ adherence to international obligations and responsibilities.
We thus call upon the Governments of all the three Nordic countries to take bold, responsible and concerted action before it is too late.
A proposed cull is indicative of the brutal treatment predators receive in Scandinavian countries.
On Wednesday there will be a meeting between the Norwegian and Swedish governments, at which Norway intends to lay claim to some of the wolves which live on the border between the two nations. This may sound like a good thing. The government's purpose is anything but.
Wolves are very popular in Norway: surveys suggest that around 80% of the public - in both urban and rural areas - want to keep them at current or higher numbers [link in Norwegian]. But as so often with rural issues - in Norway and in many other parts of the world - the dominant voices are those who belong to a small but powerful minority.
Nothing we have learnt about wolves over the past few decades - the marvels of their social structure, the very low risk they present to people and even to most livestock, the remarkable extent to which they shape the ecosystem, allowing other species to flourish - has altered attitudes among the hard core of people determined to exterminate them.
Please sign this petition to voice your disapproval of the proposed Wolf Cull in Norway.
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