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Home NATIONALWolf population on the wane
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Tue, 01 Nov, 2016 12:00:22 AM
FTimes- STT Report, Nov 1
 
File Photo Lehtikuva
The Finnish wolf population is declining, according to a review by the National Resources Centre (Luke). 
 
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry intends to reduce the issuing of wolf-hunting permits.
 
There have been 78 known dead wolves from August 2015 to August 2016. This figure includes hunted wolves, those killed by order of the police, traffic fatalities and wolves found dead. The number of wolves killed in the previous year was only 41.
 
Counsellor to the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry Sami Niemi said next year there will be a ceiling on the number of hunted wolves.
 
“It will at least be smaller than 78,” said Niemi. 
 
The Association for Nature Conservation believes the reform to be good. According to the association’s large carnivore expert Riku Lumiaro, the wolf population can handle a maximum of about 20-25 per cent loss through hunting.
 
“The maximum hunting of wolves should be about 40-45 [per year],” said Lumiaro. Last spring, estimates showed about 200-235 wolves living in Finland. Wolves are classified as critically endangered in Finland.
 
In November of last year, Luke estimated that there were about 22-43 wolf packs in Finland. This year, the estimate is 23-28.
 
Research Director Vesa ruusila of Luke emphasised that this estimate is preliminary. The final estimate on the number of wolves will be carried out after the winter hunting season in next March.
 
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