Friday, April 20, 2012

Thriving wolf population threatens northern Russia

Moscow, April 20 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A growing population of gray wolves in northern Russia has put people's livelihood in danger after the predators killed over 1,700 domestic reindeer, more than 100 horses and a few cows this year.

A spokesman for the veterinary department in Yakutia region confirmed this report.
"Usually, wolves attack reindeer grazing on pastures," he said.

As many as 1,760 reindeer, more than one hundred horses and five cows have been killed by wolves since the beginning of 2012, the official said.

The size of the wolf population in Yakutia, currently about 4,000, exceeds the target level by at least threefold. The population is increasing by about 500 new wolves each year.

The annual damage the wolves inflict on Yakutia's livestock is approximately 147 million rubles (around $5 million). Local authorities have allocated over 17 million rubles ($600,000) this year to control the wolf population.

--IANS/RIA Novosti