The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has been exasperated by Norway’s decision to shoot dozens of wolves, a step local authorities defend as absolutely necessary and fully proportionate.
During the wolf hunt, which began on October 1 in Norway, six animals have been killed to date. WWF Norway demanded that the country stop the shootings, which it believes are carried out in violation of international conventions and the constitution, national broadcaster NRK reported.
Wolf shooting has recently become a major political issue in Norway, despite the fact that the Nordic country’s wolf population remains rather sparse and numbers several dozen animals.
When the Environment Ministry last year stopped an earlier decision to kill 47 wolves, extensive protests erupted outside the House of Parliament in Oslo. Since then, wolf hunting has risen on Norway’s political agenda and is seen as one of the reasons for the recent election success of the Center Party, which doesn’t want any wolves in Norway.For this year’s hunting season, the Norwegian Wildlife Conservation Authority has issued permission to shoot 50 wolves. Climate and Environment Minister Vidar Helgesen argued that this amount is totally forboth herbivore and predatory wildlife in Norway, Verdens Gang reported.
This was met with fierce opposition from WWF Norway, which argued it went against the constitution, the Law on Nature Diversity and the international Bern Convention on the Conservation of the European Wildlife and Natural Habitats.
Hjelp oss å redde Norges ulver! Ulvejakten er lovstridig og må stanses før det er for sent å redde en kritisk truet art. Vi går nå til rettssak mot den norske staten og krever ny ulveforvaltning. https://t.co/NGAszoEq8W #Verdtåbevare #SaveOurWolves pic.twitter.com/0j6BrytEKi
— WWFVerdens naturfond (@WWFNorge) November 9, 2017
”We cannot have the authorities legalize a hunt for our most threatened predators,” Ingrid Lomelde of WWF Norway said. “We must have sustainable wolf management that safeguards the stock long-term and at the same time guarantees better efforts that reduces conflicts with grazing animals,” she added.
At present, Norway has so-called wolf zones, where the animals enjoy special protected status.The original Scandinavian wolf population died out during the 1960s. The wolves found in Norway and Sweden today are descended from a small number of animals from the Finnish-Russian population that dispersed as far as southern Scandinavia in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, the wolf is red-listed as critically endangered in Norway. The Norwegian Environment Agency estimates the number of wolves staying in Norway full-time or temporarily as slightly over 100.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) December 14, 2016
In neighboring Finland, an alpha male of a new wolf pack that emerged in the southernmost part of the country in close proximity to the capital city of Helsinki, was recently shot dead after dozens of sightings in the past two months. The pack was said to exhibit unusually brazen behavior.