11 Jan 2010, 11:16pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Sweden resumes wolf hunting after 45 years to keep population down

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS January 02, 2010 [here]

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Sweden is licensing the hunting of wolves for the first time in nearly 45 years to keep the population at a controllable level.

The near monthlong hunt began Saturday and allows the killing of a total of 27 wolves.

Susanna Lovgren of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency says the hunt follows a parliamentary decision to keep Sweden’s wolf population below 210 animals.

Sweden stopped issuing hunting licenses in the 1965-1966 season when the predator was near extinction in the country. Since then, the population has recovered however, and there are now believed to be between 182 and 217 wolves in Sweden.

Sweden wolf hunt completed in four days

by MARC PREEL, The Age, January 6, 2010 [here]

Sweden’s first wolf hunt in 45 years came to an end on Tuesday after hunters met their quota of 27 kills in just four days, as ecologists blasted the hunt. [Correction: the people who complained were not ecologists]

The final two wolves of the quota were killed in central Sweden on Tuesday, bringing to an end the first wolf hunt since 1964 as a number of hunters reported receiving anonymous death threats. [Unless ecologists make death threats]

Parliament decided in October to limit the country’s wolf population to 210 animals for the next five years.

The cull was meant to run between January 2 and February 15, but hunters killed 20 wolves on the first day, sparking the ire of animal rights activists and local officials. [Whoops -- it turns out that the death threateners were "animal rights activists", not ecologists] …

Wolves had virtually disappeared from Sweden in the 1970s. They have thrived since being reintroduced but suffer from the effects of inbreeding because they all descend from the same handful of animals that were introduced.

The government plans to release some 20 new wolves into the wild by 2014 to broaden their gene pool and improve their health. …

Parliament’s decision to allow the wolf hunt was aimed at increasing public acceptance of the predators.

The animal’s presence is controversial in the Nordic country as domestic and farm animals are increasingly attacked by wolves, which have been sighted recently near residential areas, including near the capital Stockholm.

There were between 182 and 217 wolves in Sweden last winter, the Environmental Protection Agency said, noting that new litters had been born since then.



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