Stop the Swedish Wolf Hunt

  • By: Kristina Chew
  • Target: The Swedish Ministry of the Environment

The first licensed wolf hunt in Sweden since 2011 is scheduled for February 1, 2013. Up to 30 wolves could be shot to cull their numbers from the current level of 350 to 400 down to 170.

The gray wolf is still an endangered species in SwedenEnvironmentalists say that reducing the wolf population in Sweden to 170 is not enough to ensure their survival. "There is no scientific basis for these figures... It's a purely political decision," says Mikael Karlsson of the Swedish Society for Natural Conservation (SNCC).

Under the 1979 Berne Convention (which most European countries including Sweden have signed), hunting wolves is prohibited. Should Sweden proceed with the scheduled licensed wolf hunt, the European Commission, could threaten it with legal action as it did in 2011.

Sweden's wolf population is just starting to make a comeback. Tell the government to stop the wolf hunt!

To the Swedish Ministry of the Environment,


We, the undersigned, request that you cancel the licensed wolf hunt scheduled for February 1, 2014. The grey wolf remains an endangered species in Sweden and is still in need of protection, and all the more so due to the lack of genetic variability in a wolf population of 350 to 400.


After being essentially eliminated in most of Western Europe, the wolf has been making a comeback and recently been sighted in Germany and the Netherlands after decades. Earlier surveys have found that most of the Swedish people are "already positive to the wolves in rural areas." Hunters and sheep farmers have raised the most objections. As Swedish WWF has noted, Sweden is "a large country with very high densities of prey" and "is also relatively sparsely populated compared to other countries in Europe which have wolves." It is possible for wolves to co-exist with humans.


The population of wolves in Sweden are all descended from three wolves who emigrated into the country in 1983 from Finland. There has been no evidence of genetic exchanges with the Finnish/Russian wild population since 1991. Genetic diversity among Swedish wolves is very low and efforts to increase this are very much called for.


Under the 1979 Berne Convention (which most European countries including Sweden have signed), hunting wolves is prohibited. Should Sweden proceed with the scheduled licensed wolf hunt, the European Commission, could threaten it with legal action as it did in 2011.


The wolf population on Sweden remains endangered and is still very much in need of protection. We ask that you cancel the wolf hunt and focus on other measures to support the wolf population in Sweden.


 

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