Friday, November 11, 2016

Update on Finland's Wolves by @Kuunneito

torstai 10. marraskuuta 2016

Been a while....

It's been a while since I last wrote, mainly since there isn't much to report.

The final-final results of the management hunt from this spring came in few days ago.

So the amount of wolves killed in this management hunt was 43 individuals. Out of them 25 were males and 18 females.

Adult:sub-adult:pup ratio was 23:1:19.
Confirmed alphas included 3 males and 8 females.
Males without confirmation/knowledge of status: 9
Males non-alpha 2
Females non-alpha 1
Female/Male pup ratio 9:10
1 sub-adult male

Including the confirmed alphas from other removals, the complete toll of alphas killed between 1.August 2015-31.July 2016 was 13 alphas. During this period total of killed wolves was 73.

This amount was way larger than anticipated. 30 wolves died outside of the management hunt. At least 10 of them were killed in the reindeer herding area, some of them died in vehicle collisions, one was shot to safeguard one's life (a collared wandering male redirected his aggression towards a man after hunting dog escaped him to his owner and owners friend). Several were ordered by the police to be lethally removed after deterring didn't work (these instances happened in and close proximity of either settlements or urban areas.)

The hunting will however continue, although different, since the unexpected amount of killed wolves during a year period. Details of future hunting legislation is still being prepared, but already it has been confirmed that there'll be a yearly cap for wolves killed and the permit process will be lighter.

One of the biggest problems of the test management hunt was the period of appeals. The permits had to be issued early, so that the hunt would be over before the breeding season. In future, it seems, the appeal period will not be used. (There was also a rush during the hunt, due fear of withdrawal of the permits by court of justice, which might be partially to blame for large amount of alphas felled during the hunt.)

The preliminary estimate of the wolf population shows decrease in number of packs, but since the observation period for this was only approx. 2 months long (1. August - around 15.October) and without any snow on the ground, it is highly uncertain. The amount of packs given in this preliminary estimate was 23-28. Last year the similar estimate was 22-43 packs. (Confirmed later to be 37-39 packs).

Information regarding whether there'll be a new, more certain estimate is contradicting, since the management plan states there'll be 2 estimates, one given in October-November containing amount of packs and a final estimate in February-March including amount of individuals.

But during the press conference it might have been said, that there will be a 3rd estimate, that will be given somewhere around November-December when snow cover reveals tracks made by packs and pairs. Unfortunately, the information regarding this is scarce and the Natural Resources Institute hasn't told anything in it's own web-page regarding this estimate. (only the press release was given through STT-news agency)



perjantai 11. marraskuuta 2016

Wolf quota to be set at 40 individuals outside reindeer herding area

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry proposes: Wolf quota to be set at 40 individuals outside reindeer herding area

Ministry is proposing a yearly quota of 40 individuals to be killed during 2016-2018 hunting years (2 year period). The amount will be put in to a new consideration in 2017.

The amount of killed wolves will include all known wolf mortality outside reindeer herding area.

The permits will be issued through derogation clauses b and c in Article 16 of Habitats Directive.
 ( (b) to prevent serious damage, in particular to crops, livestock, forests, fisheries and water and other types of property;
(c) in the interests of public health and public safety, or for other imperative reasons of overriding public interest, including those of a social or economic nature and beneficial consequences of primary importance for the environment;)

The given permits can be put to use immediately, giving more chances to regulate the hunting. (Since the permits won't be active all in the same time)
 When the permits are given gradually, it is also easier to keep track of hunted alpha females and effect the hunting has to the wolf population.

The decree will be given for 2 hunting years to ensure the Finnish Wildlife Agency has enough flexibility and interminably to issue the permits for  applications that fulfill the requirements.
The decree will be re-examined in the end of 2017.

According to the preliminary estimate made by Natural Resourses Institute, there are 23-28 wolf packs in Finland, out of which 9 are shared with Russia.

Last year the preliminary estimate gave 22-43 packs out of which 10 were shared with Russia

More detailed estimate will be given in December 2016, including more precise knowledge of amount of packs and a preliminary estimate of the amount of wolves.

The final estimate will be given in March 2017.


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