Dec 30

CA: Sask. farmer shoots 3 wolves

Sask. farmer shoots 3 wolves

By CBC News
CBC News

What began as an early-morning deer hunt turned into an unnerving encounter with three timber wolves, a Saskatchewan farmer says.

Late last month, Gord Cadrain ventured east from his farm near Glaslyn, 68 kilometres north of North Battleford.

Cadrain said he was lying in snow-covered brush, scanning for deer through the scope of his gun, when he spotted a yellow eye.

“‘What the heck was that?’” he recalled thinking. “‘Was that a coyote, or a wolf or what?’”

It was, in fact, a timber wolf and it appeared to be stalking Cadrain, he said.

He shot and wounded the animal, then followed the trail of blood down a coulee to make sure the wolf was dead.

‘These wolves, there was no fear in their eyes.’-Gord Cadrain, farmer

At a point where the trail ended, he ran into his second wolf.

“I look over to the right and here comes another one. A great big white bugger, and he’s coming straight for me,” Cadrain said.

Cadrain shot that wolf and another soon after.

“These wolves, there was no fear in their eyes,” he said. “They were in the hunting mode. They just basically [mistook] me for a deer.”

With only one round left, Cadrain quickly headed home. If there were more wolves, he would have been in big trouble, he said. They were all large, healthy-looking animals.

“It would have been one heck of a fight,” he said. “If you think you were going to beat them off with a stick … you’d be looking for a pretty big stick.”

He made it home without any further incident. Although wolves are by nature shy creatures, Cadrain said, he will now avoid that area.

“I have no fear of timber wolves,” he said. “It was just one of those oddball things.”

Although reports of wolf attacks are rare, there have been a number of sightings of the animals this year in La Ronge and other northern communities.

No one has been hurt.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Dec 30

AK: Wolf size depends on when they last ate

Wolf size depends on when they last ate

by Tim Mowry

FAIRBANKS — If you’re looking for the biggest wolves in Alaska, head to the Fortymile country.

That’s where legendary Alaska wolf trapper and hunter Frank Glaser caught a 175-pound male in the summer of 1939, the largest wolf ever documented in Alaska. Glaser trapped the wolf on the Seventymile River near Eagle.

“They run some big wolves in that country,” state wildlife biologist Craig Gardner, who spent 20 years working in the area while stationed at Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Tok, said.

While the wolf Glaser caught had a belly full of meat, Gardner captured a 142-pound male with an empty stomach in 1997 when the state was sterilizing wolves as part of a recovery plan for the Fortymile Caribou Herd. The wolf was the alpha male in a pack of 16 wolves.

“He was just enormous,” Gardner said.

Wildlife biologist John Burch of the National Park Service caught a 148-pound wolf in 2001 in the Fortymile country, i.e. the Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve. A female with him weighed 110, Burch said.

“They were on a moose kill,” Burch recalled. “He had a stomach full of meat and so did she.”

Burch has caught one other wolf over 140 pounds — a 143 pounder 10 years ago — and four that were over 130 pounds, including a 132 pounder last year.

“Any wolf over 140 I would classify as huge,” Burch said.

The average weight for an adult male wolf in Alaska is about 100 to 110 pounds while females average about 90 pounds. The biggest wolf in most packs almost always are the alpha males, biologists said.

“If you catch an alpha male out of a pack that weighs 120, that’s representative of a big, fully grown adult,” said biologist Mark McNay, who spent half of the 27 years he was at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game studying wolves before retiring in 2007.

During his career at Fish and Game, McNay captured and weighed more than 300 wolves. The biggest was a 143-pound male he caught in the Alaska Range in 2003. That wolf was the alpha male in a pack of 16 and was coming off a fresh kill, he said.

The biggest female McNay has ever caught was a 118-pound wolf in the late 1980s, which he captured in the same area as the 143-pound male in 2003. The alpha male in that pack weighed about 125 pounds.

“They were in exceptionally good territory that had lots of moose and caribou in it,” McNay said.

Most of the wolves in Alaska are what McNay referred to as “moose wolves” because they rely on moose for the bulk of their food. Based on loosely adhered to formula used by biologists, a wolf requires an average of about 10 pounds of food per day. That means an average wolf eats the equivalent of two moose per year.

“That’s a little misleading because they eat caribou, Dall sheep, a few birds, a few beaver; they eat other things,” McNay said.

The weights of wolves fluctuate greatly depending on food availability. Wolves can eat 20 pounds of moose or caribou in one meal if it’s available. Wolves “can pack away a lot,” McNay said.

“If I caught one that was 143 pounds and it hadn’t eaten for a couple days it could be the same size as a 170-pound wolf coming off a fresh kill,” he said.

Other biologists agreed wolves are extreme opportunists when it comes to food.

“You find that in stomachs pretty commonly — 15 pounds of meat, hairball and bone,” longtime Fairbanks biologist Rod Boertje said. “That’s how you get these 140-pound wolves.”

“If they have the opportunity to eat a lot they will,” Burch added.

While there was no mention of Glaser’s giant catch in a book chronicling his wilderness adventures titled “Alaska’s Wolf Man” by Jim Rearden, wolf researcher Stanley Young, who worked as a biologist for the U.S. Biological Survey, the predecessor to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, makes mention of it in the book he wrote in 1944, “The Wolves of North America.”

“A very large male collected by Frank S. Glaser, July 12, 1939, on 70-Mile River, approximately 50 miles from its mouth in extreme east central Alaska, weighed 175 pounds,” Young wrote. “It was the heaviest that has been taken by any of the personnel of the Fish and Wildlife Service.”

There also is mention of a 172-pound male with a stomach full of meat caught in the Northwest Territories in 1947 and a 157-pound wolf shot on the Savage River drainage in the Alaska Range in 1934.

The wolves Burch handles in the Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve are bigger than the wolves he dealt with working in Denali National Park and Preserve for 10 years. According to his figures, males in the Yukon Charley run about 5 pounds bigger than Denali Park males and females are about 2 pounds larger.

Of the 179 wolves Burch has captured in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve since 1993, the average weight for adult males is 111 pounds and for females it is 97.

In Minnesota, where he worked with wolves for seven years, Burch said, “a wolf over 100 pounds was almost unheard of.”

Of the 300 or so wolves that biologist Layne Adams with the U.S. Geological Survey has handled working in Denali National Park and Preserve and Gates of the Arctic National Preserve, the biggest was a 135-pound male in Denali. Adams still remembers the size of the wolf as if it were some kind of mutant.

“The thing was huge to me, compared to what I normally handled,” Adams said, noting the average weight of male wolves in Denali is 105 pounds. “The first thing I noticed was the size of his head. It was huge.”

Most trappers don’t weigh the wolves they catch because they skin them in the field, said Al Barrette at Fairbanks Fur Tannery. Even if they did weigh them, chances are they would weigh less than those handled by biologists because they’ve been in a trap for several days, he said.

“When trappers catch wolves they’re on the move, looking for food, their bellies are empty,” said Barrette, a trapper himself. “It’s not too often you catch a wolf with a full stomach.”

Barrette weighs about 50 wolves per year that trappers bring him to skin and the biggest he has ever weighed is 128 pounds.

As for talk of 150-pound wolves, Barrette said, “I’d like to see one.”

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Dec 29

CN: Death by wolves attempt fails

Death by wolves attempt fails

Source: Global Times

A luckless man surnamed Ling who tried to kill himself by jumping into a wolf enclosure from an 8-meter-high bridge at a wildlife park in Hefei, Anhui Province on December 20, instead injured himself in the fall and rather than being attacked by wolves, frightened all seven of them away.

The deputy chief of the park Jiang Hao explained that the wolves were domesticated and afraid of strangers. “It is lucky that he did not jump into the tiger zone because the tigers would attack him,” said Jiang.

Ling was sent to the No. 105 hospital where doctors treated him for five bone fractures. He told investigators that he was depressed after being fired and did not want to be a burden to his family.

Ling’s father said, “In the morning, his wife looked after their son and didn’t pay any attention to him. He left home alone, saying he wanted to relax in the zoo. I never thought it would be like this.”

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Dec 27

NM: Carlsbad Mexican gray wolf to mate with Mexican female in breeding program

Carlsbad Mexican gray wolf to mate with Mexican female in breeding program

By Stella Davis
Current-Argus Staff Writer

CARLSBAD — After several months of talks and mounds of paper work, a male Mexican gray wolf from the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park was flown earlier this month to a facility in Mexico where it will be paired with a female of the same species.

The wolf, sent to Centro Encologico de Sonora in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, is one of six Mexican gray wolf brothers housed at the park that came from the Wild Canid Research and Survival Center in Eureka, Mo.

The endangered wolves are placed in institutions by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums through the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan, said Holly Payne, park general curator.

The six wolves have been fostered at the park since 2005 and have not been bred, Payne said.

“The AZA Species Survival Plan contacted us and said the facility in Mexico has a single female that is genetically important and since our six brothers also are important genetic-wise, they recommended breeding one of our males with the female in Mexico,” Payne explained. “But before we could do that, we had to go through a lot of red tape and complete a lot of paperwork. For us, this is the first time we have sent one of our animals to another country. The transfer of the wolf was a huge collaborative effort with a lot of people and agencies involved.”

In addition to the park, agencies involved in the transfer include LightHawk – a nonprofit organization that aids animal conservation

efforts by donating flights and pilots – Association of Zoos and Aquariums Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA and the Mexican government.

The wolf was flown from Chandler Aviation, the fixed based operator at the Cavern City Air Terminal, to Hermosillo by LightHawk.

“They did a wonderful job of getting the wolf comfortable for the flight to Mexico,” Payne said. “Their mission is to champion environmental protection through the unique perspective of flight.”

According to the AZA Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan, the Mexican gray wolf or “lobo” is the rarest, southernmost and most genetically distinct sub-species of gray wolf found in North America. Adult wolves typically weigh 50-80 pounds, are about 5 feet in total length and have a richly colored coat of buff, brown, gray, red, white and black.

The Mexican gray wolf breeding program began in the late 1970s with the capture of five wolves from the wild. Later, in the mid 1990s, a few additional wolves were confirmed to have been pure Mexican wolves as well. With careful breeding and husbandry management, the population increased.

The government predator control programs from the 1890s through the 1960s targeted the wolf for extermination to protect ranchers from livestock losses. Professional trappers and chemical poisons have eliminated the Mexican gray wolf from its former range in the southwest U.S. and Mexico.

There always has been controversy with ranchers over the Mexican gray wolf and the release of some Mexican gray wolves into the wild had met with strong objection from the ranching communities in the release areas. Some wolves that were reintroduced into the wild have been reportedly killed after their release because of alleged livestock losses in their roaming areas.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Dec 24

MN: Lake Superior Zoo welcomes wolves

Lake Superior Zoo welcomes wolves

A band of brothers is roaming 1,500 square feet of the Lake Superior Zoo.

Three gray wolves, born in April 2003 at the Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake, Minn., arrived on Wednesday and will have a public coming-out party on New Year’s Eve as the zoo inaugurates its wolf exhibit. It was paid for with money from the Minnesota Legacy Fund.

Leslie Larsen, the zoo’s director of education and animal management, said it’s the first time she knows of that the zoo has had wolves.

The wolves are 105 and 120 pounds of muscle covered by silky gray, white and brown fur. They’re on loan from the Wildlife Science Center but are expected to live out their days in Duluth. They’re in the prime of their lives and could easily reach 20 years, Larsen said.

The Wildlife Science Center doesn’t name its animals, but the zoo will name the wolves, Larsen said. Details still are being determined; a public contest might be involved.

The wolf exhibit was planned before the zoo’s master plan was unveiled in May, but it fits in with the philosophy of making better use of the zoo’s space, Larsen said. In the past, heavy, hoofed animals had been housed in the hillside that’s now the wolves’ home, Larsen said. They’d eat the vegetation, and their heavy, cloven hooves would dig into the clay, causing erosion.

“Well, we’ve got Kingsbury Creek running through the zoo, and it’s our mission and our job to make sure we’re not causing erosion into the creek and into the watershed,” Larsen said. “The whole thing ties together. And now we’ve got these large canines that are not going to cause the erosion problem because they’re not going to eat all the grass, and they’re lighter and they don’t have feet that are going to dig into the ground.”

The wolves create a new situation for the Lake Superior Zoo’s zookeepers, Larsen said. Zoo personnel don’t have direct contact with large carnivores such as bears and big cats. But they will be in the enclosure with the wolves. “It’s exciting, and we certainly don’t take it for granted,” she said. “We’re extremely respectful of the opportunity to do that.”

Although the wolves were raised in captivity, they were not hand-reared, Larsen said. “Which is a good thing from our perspective, because hand-reared wolves tend to not be fearful of humans, and you don’t want a 120-pound animal thinking that it’s OK to come up to you.”

The wolf exhibit had been scheduled to open in the summer, but that was before Duluth was hit with monsoon-like rains. “It created a really sticky mess to get in there and do this construction,” Larsen said.

But the overall plan is unchanged. The zoo hopes to seek accreditation in March and would learn in September if it achieved accreditation. The zoo lost that status from the American Zoological Association in 2006.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Dec 23

SE: EU challenges Sweden’s wolf hunt policy

EU challenges Sweden’s wolf hunt policy

The European Commission has issued a new challenge to Sweden’s wolf hunt policy, with the EU environment commissioner warning the government against letting the hunt begin before it receives answers to its questions.

Swedish authorities announced on Friday that hunters will be allowed to cull 20 wolves in 2011. Wolf hunting in Sweden resumed this year following a 46-year ban.

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency said that from January 15th to February 15th, 2011, licensed hunters will be permitted to shoot 20 wolves, down from the quota of 27 animals this year.

The Swedish parliament decided last year to limit the wolf population to 210 animals spread out in 20 packs, with 20 new pups per year, for a period of five years by issuing hunting permits in regions where wolves have recently reproduced.

EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik wrote a letter to Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren, saying, “Several aspects of the Swedish wolf policy raise serious questions.”

Both the licensed hunting of wolves and the set limit of the number of wolves in the country, as well as plans for the transfer of wolves from other countries, include elements that seem incompatible with EU rules for the conservation of predatory animals, Potocnik stressed.

Potocnik questioned the motive for the licensed hunt, namely that it would increase the local population’s acceptance for the wolf population, but Carlgren reiterated the reason in his response to Potocnik without commenting on the alternative methods available that Potocnik stated in his letter.

Carlgren referred instead to the assessment that European predatory animal experts had previously done on the Swedish hunt. They observed that Sweden has very good control over the number of predatory animals and the hunt for them and that licensed hunting in January this year was justifiable.

If the hunt proceeds, Potocnik said that he would propose the commission formally complain to the government for failing to comply with EU environmental legislation.

The European Commission asked the Swedish government for a response in the summer to a number of questions about the scientific basis for the controversial licensed hunting of wolves. Several environmental groups have complained to the commission about the hunt.

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (Naturskyddsföreningen, SSNC) believes that the government should stop the licensed hunt next month, especially in light of the EU Commission’s serious criticisms.

“We consider the hunt incompatible with EU law partly because it hampers the preservation of a vigourous wolf population. They are so seriously inbred and vulnerable, every wolf is important for the animal’s long-term survival,” Chairman Mikael Karlsson told news agency TT.

“Now that the commission is so clear, it would behoove the government to follow suit and not proceed further. The questions raised by the commission in August were serious. There is no scientific support for the limit of 210 wolves. Sweden should not get involved with this hunt,” said Karlsson.

TT/The Local/vt

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Dec 23

SE: Translocation and repopulation of wolves in 2011

Translocation and repopulation of wolves in 2011

Roughly translated by TWIN Observer

The news P4 Värmland

Implantation of wolves is to start next year. Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren (C) said this in an hearing in parliament yesterday, Wednesday.

How many animals should be placed, from where they are retrieved and exactly when, the environmental minister is waiting for expert advice on this.

In the hearing with the Green Party’s Asa Romson and the Left’s Jens Holm, Andreas Carlgren said also that he is ready to tighten the law on poaching of wolves if any existing measures are found to have too little effect.


Inplantering av varg under 2011

Nyheterna P4 Värmland

Inplanteringen av varg ska inledas nästa år. Det sa miljöminister Andreas Carlgren (C) vid en interpellationsdebatt i riksdagen i går, onsdag.

Hur många djur som ska sättas ut, varifrån de ska hämtas och exakt när, inväntar miljöministern expertråd om.

I debatten med Miljöpartiets Åsa Romson och vänsterpartisten Jens Holm meddelade Andreas Carlgren även att han är redo att skärpa lagen kring tjuvjakt på varg om redan vidtagna åtgärder visar sig ha för liten effekt.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Dec 23

SE: Wolf hunt to continue despite EU criticism

Wolf hunt to continue despite EU criticism

Roughly translated by TWIN Observer

The news P4 Värmland

The Swedish wolf hunting is being criticized by the EU’s environment commissioner. Sweden risks a complaint for violation of the rules for the protection of rare species.

Earlier, the government had been asked a series of questions from the European Commission on wolf hunting. The answers are not enough to free Sweden from alleged breaches of the Directive for the protection of vulnerable species. There may be a case in EU court to come, but there are several steps there.

Environment Commissioner Janes Potocnik is against the Swedish government calling for limited hunting of wolves. It can not be called when you shoot around 15 percent of the strictly protected species.

Although Sweden said that the hunt should be balanced with the repopulation of wolves with other genes, it has not happened yet, writes the Commissioner.

The argument that the hunt will help to reduce inbreeding is rejected as well. You can not see this from the figures presented by Sweden.

Environment Commissioner writes that the wolf is a strictly protected species and that hunting may be authorized only when there are no other options. To that Sweden refers to the licensed hunting may contribute to increased understanding of a larger wolf population, is under the European Commission is not correct.

There are many other ways to increase understanding. Not least because more and better aid for owners whose animals wolves kill and injure. Isolated, especially difficult, wolves can be shot without a licensed hunting according to Potocnik.

He also questions the wolves to be excluded from the present in reindeer grazing areas. They cover more than half the country’s land area, and has not fixed limits, according to the Environmental Commissioner.

It is thought that the wolf areas are shrinking on customary law would eventually give Sami the right to additional land. Also prevented the wolf from the natural migration from the Arctic. They simply can not pass the no-go area ..

Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren, who brought the dialogue with the Environment Commissioner, says that winter wolf hunting will be in spite of criticism.

“We emphasize to the Commission that these are very limited and strictly controlled hunts. As is now also in the winter will include fewer wolves than last year during the even more stringent standards and also with more wolf territory where hunting is not allowed, because we have seen a great proliferation of healthy, genetically good wolves have spread across the country,” he says .


Vargjakten fortsätter trots EU-kritik

Nyheterna P4 Värmland

Den svenska vargjakten kritiseras av EU:s miljökommissionär. Sverige riskerar en anmälan för brott mot reglerna för skydd av sällsynta arter.

Tidigare har regeringen fått svara på en rad frågor från EU-kommissionen om vargjakten. Svaren räcker däremot inte för att fria Sverige från misstankar om brott mot direktivet för skydd av utsatta arter. Det kan bli en process i EU-domstolen framöver, men det är flera steg dit.

Miljökommissionären Janes Potocnik vänder sig mot att Sveriges regering kallat vargjakten för begränsad. Det kan det inte kallas när man skjuter runt 15 procent av en strikt skyddad art.

Trots att Sverige sagt att jakten ska balanseras med inplantering av varg med andra gener så har det inte skett än, skriver kommissionären.

Argumentet att jakten ska bidra till minskad inavel underkänns också. Det går inte att se av de siffror Sverige presenterat .

Miljökommissionären skriver att vargen är en strikt skyddad art och att jakt bara kan tillåtas när det inte finns några andra alternativ. Att som Sverige hänvisa till att licensjakt kan bidra till ökad förståelse för en större vargstam, är enligt EU-kommissionen inte korrekt.

Det finns många andra sätt att öka förståelsen. Inte minst genom mer och bättre stöd till djurägare vars djur vargen dödar och skadar. Enstaka, särskilt besvärliga, vargar kan skjutas utan licensjakt enligt Potocnik.

Han ifrågasätter också att vargarna ska stängas ute från att vistas i renbetesområdena. De omfattar mer än halva Sveriges yta, och har inte heller fasta gränser, enligt miljökommissionären.

Det kan befaras att vargens ytor krymper om sedvanerätten så småningom skulle ge samerna rätt till ytterligare mark. Dessutom hindras vargen från naturlig invandring från nordkalotten. De kan helt enkelt inte passera förbjudet område..

Miljöminister Andreas Carlgren som fört dialog med miljökommissionären, säger att vinterns vargjakt kommer att bli av trots kritiken.

– Vi framhåller till kommissionen att det handlar om en mycket begränsad och strikt kontrollerad licensjakt. Som nu dessutom i vinter kommer omfatta färre vargar än förra året under ännu strängare krav och dessutom med fler vargrevir där jakt inte tillåts, därför att vi har sett en väldigt bra spridning av friska, genetiskt goda vargar som har spritt sig i landet, säger han.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Dec 23

SE: Interest cool in this year’s hunting of wolves

Interest cool in this year’s hunting of wolves

news P4 Värmland

The number of reports to the Environmental Protection Agency to participate in the winter hunting of wolves is significantly lower than at the wolf hunt.

Applications to the Environmental Protection Agency to hunt wolves is significantly lower this season compared to last season. To date, a total of 3745 hunters who have registered for the upcoming hunt, against over 18 000 last year.

In Värmland, 661 signed up to 4300 last year. It is in round figures, therefore, only one-seventh of the hunters, this time signed up for the Environmental Protection Agency for killing wolves.

“It may be that the weather in January last year discourages hunters to go out to hunt wolves on the license for the second time,” says Gunnar Glöersen, Hunting Advisor on Wildlife Management in Värmland.


Svalt intresse för årets vargjakt

Nyheterna P4 Värmland

Antalet anmälningar till Naturvårdsverket för att delta i vinterns vargjakt är betydligt lägre än vid förra vargjakten.

Ansökan till Naturvårdsverket om att få jaga varg är betydligt lägre denna säsong jämfört med förra säsongen. Hittills är det totalt 3 745 jägare som anmält sig till den kommande jakten, mot drygt 18 000 förra året.

I Värmland har 661 anmält sig mot 4 300 förra året. Det är i runda tal alltså bara en sjundedel av jägarkåren som denna gång anmält sig till Naturvårdsverket för att jaga varg.

–Det kan vara så att vädret i januari förra året avskräcker jägarna för att ge sig ut att jaga varg på licens för andra gången, säger Gunnar Glöersen, jaktvårdskonsulent på Jägareförbundet i Värmland.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Dec 23

SE: EU questions the Swedish wolf policy

EU questions the Swedish wolf policy

Roughly translated by TWIN Observer

Stockholm / TT

The European Commission continues to question the Swedish wolf policy. Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik is warning the government about letting the hunt begin before commission received answers to their questions.

Potocnik writes in a letter to Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren that “several aspects of the Swedish wolf policy raises serious issues”.

Both the licensed hunting of wolves and the ceiling it decided for the number of wolves and the plans for repopulation of wolves contains elements that seem incompatible with EU rules for the conservation of predators, stressed Potocnik.

Although Commissioner Janez Potocnik is questioning the motives for licensed hunting, that it would increase local public acceptance for the wolf, so repeat the Environment Andreas Carlgren this motif in its response to Potocnik, without commenting on the alternative methods available which Potocnik stated in his letter.

Carlgren refers instead to the assessment of European predator experts previously done on the Swedish hunt. These note that Sweden has very good control on the number of predators and hunt for them and that licensed hunting in January this year was justifiable.

Nature Conservation Society believes that the government must stop licensed hunting in January, especially in light of the EU Commission’s serious criticism.

“We consider that hunting is incompatible with EU law and that it hampers the maintenance of a viable wolf population. It is so severely inbred and vulnerable to every individual is important for the population’s long-term survival,” said chairman Mikael Karlsson to TT. “Now that the Commission is so clear, so it would be becoming of the government to follow suit and do not proceed. Already the questions raised in August were serious. There is no scientific support for such ceiling of 210 wolves. Sweden can not get involved with this hunt,” says Karlsson.

He believes that a cull would be better and more beneficial to agriculture than the licensed hunting is. It is only a concession to hunters, according to Mikael Karlsson.

He is seeking further answers to a series of questions. He questions the particular motive for licensed hunting, increasing the acceptance of wolves among the local population. Potocnik pointed out that there are a number of other ways to go to do this in addition to hunting.

Another 20 wolves may be shot when the wolf hunt will start on 15 January. But the European Commissioner Janez Potocnik is warning the government about letting the hunt begin before the European Commission received answers to their questions and the scientific basis for Swedish positions.

If this happens, Potocnik will suggest the Commission formally complain to the government for failing to comply with EU environmental legislation.


EU ifrågasätter Sveriges vargpolitik

Stockholm/TT

EU-kommissionen fortsätter att ifrågasätta den svenska vargpolitiken. Miljökommissionären Janez Potocnik varnar nu regeringen för att låta jakten starta innan komminssionen fått svar på sina frågor.

Potocnik skriver i ett brev till miljöminister Andreas Carlgren att “flera aspekter av den svenska vargpolitiken reser allvarliga frågor”.

Både licensjakten på varg och det beslutade taket för antalet vargar samt planerna på inplantering av varg innehåller delar som tycks oförenliga med EU:s regler för bevarande av rovdjur, framhåller Potocnik.

Trots att kommissionären Janez Potocnik ifrågasätter motivet för licensjakten, att den skulle öka lokalbefolkningens acceptans för vargstammen, så upprepar miljöminister Andreas Carlgren detta motiv i sitt svar till Potocnik utan att kommentera de alternativa metoder som finns och som Potocnik anger i sitt brev.

Carlgren hänvisar i stället till den bedömning som europeiska rovdjursexperter tidigare gjort om den svenska jakten. Dessa konstaterar att Sverige har mycket god kontroll på antalet rovdjur och jakten på dessa och att licensjakten i januari i år var försvarlig.

Naturskyddsföreningen anser att regeringen måste stoppa licensjakten i januari, inte minst mot bakgrund av EU-kommissionens allvarliga kritik.

- Vi anser dels att jakten är oförenlig med EU:s lagstiftning, dels att den försvårar bevarandet av en livskraftig vargstam. Den är så allvarligt inavlad och sårbar att varje individ är viktig för stammens långsiktiga överlevnad, säger ordförande Mikael Karlsson till TT. – När nu kommissionen är så tydlig, så vore det klädsamt om regeringen följer efter och inte går vidare. Redan de frågor kommissionen ställde i augusti var allvarliga. Det finns inga vetenskapliga stöd för till exempel taket på 210 vargar. Sverige kan inte hålla på med den här jakten, säger Karlsson.

Han anser att skyddsjakt skulle vara bättre och mer till nytta för lantbruket än vad licensjakten är. Den är bara en eftergift till jägarna, enligt Mikael Karlsson.

Han begär nu ytterligare svar på en rad frågor. Han ifrågasätter bland annat motivet för licensjakten, att öka acceptansen för varg hos lokalbefolkningen. Potocnik påpekar att det finns en rad andra vägar att gå för att göra detta vid sidan av jakt.

Ytterligare 20 vargar får skjutas när vargjakten inleds den 15 januari. Men EU-kommissionären Janez Potocnik varnar nu regeringen för att låta jakten starta innan EU-kommissionen fått svar på sina frågor och det vetenskapliga underlaget för de svenska ståndpunkterna.

Om så sker kommer Potocnik att föreslå kommissionen att formellt klaga hos regeringen för att den inte följer EU:s miljölagstiftning.

Source

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