The situation for the wolves in Sweden is very critical.
28 wolves killed in one day's hunting in January. Since then 28 more have been killed for various reasons, and now it is clear that the number of puppy areas cut by almost half compared with last year and the year before
The number of cases of illegal hunting of wolves and other large predators have increased in 2010, according to new figures.Licence to kill wolves that were introduced this past winter has in other words not dampened the poaching that many thought it would.
During the first half of 2010, 37 cases of illegal hunting of predators reported to police, according to figures from the National Crime Prevention Council.
Moose hunting is entered and the hunters have gone into the wolves' territories. It has cost some lives of hunting dogs and hunters have applied for a license to shoot more wolves.
There are indications that there are puppies in these territories, but the county boards still choose to give permission for hunting of wolwes .
This reasoning shows that the county administrative officials and manager do not know a thing about how a wolf family are functioning.The puppies that are going through a challenging period for the parents in terms of both education and nutrition will be developed in a negative way. Less food may mean that some may find it difficult to develop physically in a good way and some may become unruly wolves when they are eventually presented in our will to leave their home area because they had not received good guidance from both parents.
10 puppy areas disappeared with wolf hunt 2nd January, the winter hunting license must be stopped.
What we warned before the licensed hunting of wolves in January seems to have unfortunately come true. Birth of pups has only been found in only 13 Swedish territories this year. In Norway, only one territory had puppies. Last year and the year before Sweden had 23 puppies territories each year.
We want to emphasize that the figures are preliminary, but so far through the year, most puppy home ranges to be mapped. The pups that were born sometime in April month end of May is now quite variable and expose themselves in all times.
If the numbers match, we find it hard to believe that it will now show up as many as seven previously unknown litters, it means that it becomes impossible for the government to allow hunting in the winter. At least 20 regenerations will be killed, as license hunting shall be permitted under a parliamentary decision
So far this year 57 known wolves have died from various reasons in Sweden and Norway, 28 of them were killed in the wolf massacre that took place during a single day in the five counties. Several parental animals were shot during the indiscriminate hunting.
Source: Vargens Tid (Wolf Time)
This year 13 of the territories confirmed the earlier deaths of 23 but at least 58 wolves died in this time (According to Skandulv) For the overall population it spells disaster in the making.
Because of this situation it should be so that Administrative Boards should realize that every single wolf is of the utmost importance.
Being wild animals , wolves do not acknowledge municipal or regional boundaries set by humans and to look at a wolf that appears in a specific area and judge it by the boundaries it appeared in puts the whole wolf population at risk and their ability to survive.
For permission to cull a certain wolf or wolves certain conditions should be met, yet there are no standard form that makes it clear to the public as a whole of what measures should be taken to protect domestic animals from harm. This means that applications vary from case to case which is unacceptable, especially in the case of an endangered animal like the wolf.
There was also no other satisfactory solution sought and also legal hunting may not prevent the maintenance of good conservation of the species’ population in its native range.
Research must be done to prevent serious damage.
In the case of hunting wolves, the following passage in the bill, Unified
predator policy (Government Bill 2000/01: 57):
“Even outside the Reindeer herding area a limited cull should be allowed which mainly apply to certain individuals in situations where no reasonable solution to the damage done could be found.
Even in a situation where the wolf population has increased rapidly, it may be justified to address local predatory problems with the cull but only if the wolf population in the whole of the country shows a positive growth development.”
I do not believe that authorities have fulfilled commitments under the EU constitution and the Habitats Directive, which is binding law in Sweden, or under the aforementioned bill.
How have they fulfilled the Habitats Directive, Article 16 and its three elements?
That is 1. there is no other solution than culling.
2. the exemption must not hinder the maintenance of a favorable conservation status
3.and any of the objectives of article five justifications for exceptions to be applicable.
What other approaches have been taken?
The Authority did not identify in any way that they were against the cull and took no other action. This was clear from the decision. In addition the wolf population as a whole did not show a positive growth status, something that the Authority also completely ignored in its decision.
As regards the wording of what the authorities plan to do - or government - I want to JO examine how it is consistent with ensuring an endangered species' status here and now by the decision. Can you really believe that the measures the Government plans to carry out, ie implanting zoo wolves, etc, is a strong enough measure of promoting a favorable conservation status? This decision was certainly not based on sound scientific basis.
A political vision, a non-tested method of scientific monitoring, or a non-binding promise can never be the basis for regulatory decisions. It should be quietly confident and taken in a professional way according to law criteria.
The Parliament decided that there should be at least 20 new wolves injected into the wolf population each year. Furthermore, the number of wolves may not exceed 210th Environmental Protection Agency and the county must continuously monitor the wolf population trends to assess whether the protective order can prevent the achievement of the objectives of the Riksdag, or if a decision would jeopardize the species' conservation status.
With regards to the genetic status of the wolves', genetics should be checked by the Department of Zoology at Stockholm University who has as far as I know some expertise in this field with wolves. It would also be advisable to consult behavioral scientists at various Universities in the matter of releasing hand reared wolf pups and their chances of survival.
I believe that county, as well as EPA, do not adequately collect knowledge from independent established expertise in the Swedish wolf population. They employ essentially the same researchers, employees of Grimsö Research Station, instead of catching up on independent research from many quarters.
If any wolf is seen as an individual and not as an integral part of the whole population it puts the whole at the risk of extinction.
Thank you for taking time to read this letter.