175 wolves dead in Finland since August 2014


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ANC Tapiola, 7.6.2017

The Natural Resources Institute Finland has released an estimate of wolves in Finland. According to the latest estimate by Natural Resources Institute Finland, there are only 150-180 wolves. The number of strictly protected and endangered species has dramatically decreased since 2015. The development of the Finnish wolf population has been unstable during the 21st century, fluctuating around 130-200 individuals. The peak levels were reached in 2006 with 250-260 wolves and in 2009 with 220-240 wolves. The latest minimum estimate, when the population reached properly over 200 individuals, was in 2015 (including 220-245 wolves).

The latest estimate is alarming. Since 2015, Finland has practiced a new management plan with a new method to increase social acceptance of wolves and their value as a hunting trophy. This method was management hunting and hunting with social-based licenses. The known total mortality in the past three years is 175 wolves and 156 of them were shot with different licenses or orders. These 175 wolves include 25 breeding individuals.

As proven, the new management plan has critically failed to reach managemental targets, such as sustainable development of the population, increasing social acceptance of wolves and making them a valuable game species in Finland. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is responsible of this deterioration. The species is still far too low in numbers and still perceived extremely negatively by most of the general public.

The Ministry must concentrate on non-lethal methods, wich are the most beneficial long-term solution. It is necessary to return to using strictly protective methods. Electric fencing, spreading information and providing sufficient resources will guarantee the approval of the local people, as well as a change for the wolf population to endure.