I read with incredulity the recent WWF report that Sweden’s second cull of endangered wolves has seen 6,747 hunters register to kill 20 of the total Scandinavian wolf population of about 250; roughly 27 hunters per wolf or 337 hunters per kill.
Apparently, the first cull of 27 wolves last year was justified on the basis that the hunt would create acceptance for the wolf in Sweden yet opinion surveys have shown that a majority of the Swedish people are already positive to the wolves in rural areas, with the main opposition coming from hunters themselves using loose dogs and sheep farmers.
According to the correspondence between the European Commissioner for Environment and the Swedish Minister of Environment, hunting of the wolf in the EU is strictly prohibited, with very narrowly defined exceptions not consistent with Sweden’s arbitrary limit for its wolf population.
Scandinavia’s wolf population is very vulnerable because of an extremely narrow genetic base, founded on only three animals which migrated in to Sweden between 1983 and early 1990. Two more wolves with “fresh” blood established themselves in 2008 but the population is extremely inbred and needs new wolves from Finland and Russia rather than culling.