EU needs to take action to save the highly endangered wolf in Finland

  • by: Sami Saynevirta
  • recipient: Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner of the Environment

Wolves are becoming extinct in Finland and need your help!

Wolf killer Kari Tikkunen (pictured) blames society for his crimes by saying:"This society made me what I am today."

Kari Tikkunen originally from Sotkamo,admits that he is a man who has poached wolves by shooting and poisoning them.He boasts a hat made of wolf,which weighed 42 kilos when it was brand new.

In Finland the wolf is categorized as a highly endangered species.Poaching wolves is without a doubt a crime.Tikkunen lives in the back end of Sotkamo's Tipasoja.His home is the very last inhabited house on the edge of wilderness.
Tikkunen remembers the names of many of the wolves' lives he took,names such as Milla,Nikita and Moona to name a few .The collaring of wolves in 1998 for research purposes brought this custom of naming collared wolves.The story of Nikita's life ended to Lehtopuro creek on one Pentecost.

Poacher Tikkunen uses the protection of his self-bred hunting dogs to justify his poaching of wolves.It all began when his hunting dog was killed by a wolf in 1996.

Wolves have also visited the outskirts of his property."I've said that every man has to be able to protect his own home.One must be able to look at himself in the mirror and maintain the respect of his wife."

According to Tikkunen wolves are "State dogs",that threaten his own dogs.He claims that he doesen't kill wolves for the fun of it."If the law does not protect then I'll resort to my gun."

Summary, Helsingin Sanomat 2012


Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner of the Environment
Goal: 50 000 

EU needs to take action to save the highly endangered wolf in Finland

Wolves are becoming extinct in Finland.

Finnish wolves are in danger of becoming extinct. Wolf is a highly endangered species in Finland. Currently, there are only about 150 to 165 wolves living in Finland. Despite their endangered status, they are still hunted and considered game.

Stop poaching!

The Finnish wolf population has almost halved in the recent years because of poaching.  Hunting crimes must be stopped. Wolves are threatened by extinction because of both illegal and legal hunting.

Finnish wolf policy must change.

Finnish wolf policy has failed. The Finnish State has not defended its vanishing wolf population despite the requirements of the Habitats Directive. The EU must take immediate action to remedy the Finnish situation. Wolves are practically outlaws in Finland at the moment. Currently, only NGO’s are working to protect wolves even though it should be the government’s responsibility.

The reindeer husbandry area is a wolf’s hell.

The reindeer husbandry area currently has no reproducing wolf population. The reindeer husbandry area covers 1/3 of Finland. In practice, the State has permitted the killing of all wolves in the area. There must be room for wild animals on the reindeer husbandry area as well in addition to the reindeers of reindeer husbandry. At the moment, there are approximately 300,000 reindeers in Finland.

Gene movement must be secured

Scandinavian wolves need new genes from Finland and Russia. However, it is practically impossible for wolves to travel through the reindeer husbandry area to Scandinavia. Wolves are killed in the area or at the latest in the Swedish Sami areas. The Scandinavian wolf population is threatened by inbreeding and extinction. In Russia, people are sometimes paid for killing wolves. Also the fence that marks the Finnish-Russian boarder at parts of Eastern Finland prevents wolves from moving freely.

The Police Act must be amended.

Section 25 of the Police Act must be amended. The police grant licenses to kill wolves too easily, for example based on fear of the animal. Policemen are often hunters themselves and therefore disqualified to grant these licenses. There is also not enough control of licenses granted on the basis of the Police Act.

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