Norway Plans To Kill Most Of Its Wolves   18 comments

September 21, 2016 Source

There aren’t many wolves left in the Norwegian wilderness Just 68, in fact.

But Norway’s government has decided even that’s too many. Authorities announced plans this month to kill 47 wolves, or about two-thirds of the remaining population.

FLICKR/BJARNE LOHMANN MADSEN

The move has sparked both intense criticism and praise. Farmers welcome the cull, claiming wolves threaten their livestock, and therefore their livelihood. Conservationists, on the other hand, condemn the move as an attack on a species that’s already on unsteady ground.

“The wolf population is already very small and critically endangered,” Silje Lundberg, a prominent Norwegian environmentalist, told the U.K.’s Express. “To eradicate 70 percent of such a vulnerable species is shocking.”

FLICKR/~RANVEIG MARIE~

In Europe today, there are an estimated 12,000 wolves — a population that has surged in recent years. But only in Norway is the species listed as “critically endangered” due to frequent culling.

Most of Norway’s wolves are already clinging to to just one designated habitat in the southeastern part of the country. And reports suggest their threat to sheep farmers has been greatly exaggerated.

Most recent reports suggest wolves kill , at most, 1,500 of the country’s 2 million grazing sheep annually. Another 100,000 have died from poisonous plants, drowning, traffic accidents and various diseases.

Wolves, however, have long suffered for their age-old reputation as killers — even as modern reality paints a different picture.

FLICKR/OEYSTEIN

According to the Norwegian Environment Agency, “relentless hunting” wiped out the wolf population in the 1960s. Today’s Norwegian wolves are actually the descendants of stragglers that likely wandered into Norway from Sweden.

In 1973, wolves found protection in Scandinavia, with laws making it illegal to kill the animals without a license.

FLICKR/MARTIN PHILIPS

But many Norwegians have embraced the annual culls, which run from October through March.

When the government announced plans to hunt 11 wolves last year, no less than11,571 people signed up to kill them. Or about 700 hunters for every wolf.

Scientists, however, contend that taking wolves out of the ecological picture will have a profound effect on all wildlife. As a keystone species, wolves play “a unique and crucial role in the way an ecosystem functions,” National Geographic notes. “Without keystone species, the ecosystem would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether.”

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Conservation groups put it more bluntly.

“This is pure mass slaughter,” Nina Jensen, of the Norwegian branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature, told the Guardian. “We haven’t seen anything like this in almost 100 years, when the policy at the time was to exterminate all the big predators.”

Indeed, if recent history is an indication, all of Norway’s wolves seem to be on a slippery slope. So far, more than 11,000 people have signed a petition calling the country’s lawmakers to cancel the cull.

You can join the fight here.

18 responses to “Norway Plans To Kill Most Of Its Wolves

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  1. Reblogged this on writingontherim and commented:
    It has always puzzled me why wolves are hated more than other predators. Wolves are a lot like humans. Do we project our worse traits on them? They kill few livestock when compared to deaths due to disease, weather, etc. I am interested in feedback regarding this question.

    Like

    • Mankind’s relationship regarding the wolf is either black or white. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground or grey area. We either hate them or love them, want to kill them relentlessly or preserve them as a valuable keystone species. It is possible that we do project our worst traits on to these magnificent animals (imo).
      Sweden is a member of the European Union and they give harsh criticism to the Swedish goverment regarding the management of our wolf population. Sadly Norway is not a member of EU.

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  2. Reblogged this on ravenhawks' magazine.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shame on you, Norway government!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Norway Plans To Kill Most Of Its Wolves — Wolf Is My Soul | unnecessary news from earth

  5. Why don’t farmers get off their backsides and protect their stock. Here in the city, we don’t leave money in the front garden of the house and expect it to be there the next morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right on target!! I’m quite certain that the farmers are compensated by the government for loss of livestock due to predator attacks. That’s the system in my country. I also believe that livestock farmers can apply for funds to install defense systems against predators.

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  6. Really awful news, mass culling should never be a government’s first reaction to problems like this. The government should be spending their money helping farmers with better methods for livestock protection- ie fences and guard dogs, rather than hiring hunters.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for your comment! Part of the wolf population in Norway are part of a pack that regularly migrates across the border between Norway and Sweden, which makes me wonder how the Norwegian government has conducted the count of “their” population. The Swedish government also wants to cull our small population which is already threatened by inbreeding. Protests are needed in both countries!!

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  8. Pingback: Help Save Norway’s Endangered Wolves – Fiona McShane Writes

  9. I’ve shared this on my blog and twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Norway Plans To Kill Most Of Its Wolves – Kate McClelland

  11. Reblogged this on firefly465.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: WOLVES GIVE LIFE – Postcard from a Pigeon

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