Monday, January 25, 2010

Live from Kolmarden Animal Park - Meet and Watch the Wolves

Meet and watch the wolves of Kolmarden Animal Park, and learn how beautiful, intelligent, social and gentle these animals are.

Park´s director, zoologist Mats Hoggren explains their social habbits, clarifies some myths, talks about their nature. He also pointed out that wolves are an endangered species, threatened by extinction.


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Demonstration for the wolves and against wolf hunting in Göteborg

--- UPDATED INFORMATION ---
Third demonstration in the rally that started in Sweden, is on it´s way, this time in the city of Göteborg (Gothenburg).

This shows the huge, massive wave of people supporting wolves, wanting wolves in our nature, and being very angry and unaproving of the government´s decision, justified by cover-ups (read more in the past entries and please come back for more news on that).
POSTPONDED!!! - we will bring current information as soon as possible! Thanks for understanding.
Date: ???
Time: ???
Location: Gustav Adolfs Torg in Göteborg

Here is the organisers´message and invitation:

"Now it is Gothenburg's turn to start banging the table and show the government, various organizations, hunters and others who oppose the wolf, that many of us are standing up for the wolf, and our nature! Saturday, 6 / 2 at 12.00 there will be a manifestation of the wolf against wolf hunting at Gustav Adolf Square in Gothenburg. Come and join! Bring everyone you know! Together we can work wonders!"

More information:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=216750707015&ref=mf#/event.php?eid=290970936196&ref=mf

The demonstration in Göteborg will be following the one in Örebro, which takes place on February 4th (more information here) and the pilot one, which took place in Stockholm, on January 17th, 2010 (please read this entry).

Please help prevent more senseless slaughtering of wolves - come and join the demonstrations!

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Remembering...

Three weeks have passed since what became known in Sweden as "Vargdagen" - "Wolfday". The day was January 2, 2010 and it released 12000 bloodthirsty wolf hating and trophy wanting hunters into the Swedish wilderness, where they slaughtered over 27 wolves and left many more injured, many puppies starving without their parents and many packs decimated, without their leaders.


We will never forget!

... human hatred against the breed of wolves is a product of fear of its pride, wisdom, perseverance and indomitability


More than 50 wolves are to be killed in Sweden next year, and dozens in Norway soon too.

Their fate can be changed. It is in our hands. Please help - tell the government that this is unacceptable.

Send letters to the ministry of Environment, ministry of agriculture and to the prime minister. Sign petitions listed in the menu on the right. Join organisations such as Bevara och Skydda Vargegn. Spread the word.

Thank you.


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Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Story of Limpy (and his many brothers and sisters worldwide)

Please, read the story from the link below. It will help you to understand the global struggle of wolves - being the target of human absurde hate and trophy hunting interests.

Limpy was a wolf, that never killed any lifestock or hunting dogs, or had a conflict with human interests. He was simply killed (together with many more wolves) because he could be killed, the very first day the hunting ban was lifted in the state of Wyoming. Just like here in Sweden, where 25 wolves (out of a quota of 27 to be culled during 2010) were slaughtered during the very first day of the first legal hunting in 45 years -- not because they did something wrong, but just because the hate and trophy vision driven 12000 licenced hunters simply could.

The story of life and death of Wolf 253, affecionately called "Limpy":
http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2009/10/04/limpys-story-the-life-and-death-of-wolf-253/#comment-829

How many more thousands of wolves will have to be killed around the world, how many more sad and tragic stories will be written, how many more thousands of pictures of killed or dieing wolves, and videos of the killings, will we watch and read, before we finally do something?!

The planet is not exclusively ours to use and planish as we please. And I believe there are millions of people all around the world who dissagree with what our decisionmakers do. But we need to unite, we need to stand up and speak - and say it out loud.

Please, take actions, read more facts about wolves (and other endangered species as well), ask questions, sign petitions, join various organisations and groups (many links are on the menu on the right side of the blog, and in previous posts), share information and discuss with others. All this counts. Just don´t remain silent and passive.


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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Aerial Wolf Killing in Alaska

Alaskan wolves receive no Endangered Species Act protections, and the species has long been vilified. In the 1940s and 1950s, widespread wolf killings occurred via poisonings, bounties, and aerial shooting by federal agents. After Alaska became a state in 1959, poisoning was prohibited by legislative action and bounties were soon stopped.

Aerial shooting of wolves became common in the 1960s. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game ceased issuing aerial permits in 1972 after passage of the federal Airborne Hunting Act. The Act prohibits the shooting of wolves directly from airplanes but left legalize the practice known as "land and shoot" -- where a hunter can land a plane and shoot the animal from the ground.

Land and shoot wolf hunting remains a controversial practice and it is even opposed by many hunters. It considered unsportsmanlike, unethical, and impossible to regulate. It also leads to many other violations of hunting regulations such as chasing, herding, and harassing wolves.

Alaskan wolf shot by aerial gunner

In 1996 and again in 2000, Alaskan voters banned the practice but both times the Alaskan legislature overturned these citizen-passed laws. In 2003, the Board of Game approved several aerial wolf control programs and since then has adopted several more. Approximately 800 wolves have been killed by teams of private hunters and gunners from fixed-wing airplanes.

They rarely die fast, and are often left to suffer in agony.

So far, more than 1,000 wolves have been chased down by gunmen in low-flying aircraft and killed with high-powered rifles. This year alone, more than 250 wolves have been killed -- making the 2008/2009 aerial wolf killing season one of the deadliest in years.

The aerial killing of wolves in Alaska
MUST BE STOPPED!

Please, take action:

-- Urge Your Representative and Senators to Co-Sponsor the PAW Act: http://action.defenders.org/site/Advocacy?id=1517&pagename=homepage

-- Support National Wolf Recovery Plan:
http://action.defenders.org/ourwolves

To learn more and what you can do to help, please click here.


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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION! HELP PLEASE!!!

!UPDATE! January 21, 2010 at 1:41 am. Great job so far everyone! We will bring info from the debate tomorrow. Important info: The votes are still on, so if you missed it, you can still send in your NO now. Thank you!
-----------------------------------
Here is everybody´s occasion to take action now! Please help Swedish wolves with two clicks!

Plese vote in the poll on Swedish TV4!!!

It is extremly important!!!

There will be a discussion tonight at 22:40 local time with Swedish minister of environment about the recently legalized wolf hunt.

The reporter will announce what public generally thinks, and thus it is extremly important to let them know that we are clearly against the wolf hunting!!!

Please go to: http://www.tv4.se/1.638691

and scroll down to the line, which says
Rätt eller fel med vargjakt?
Under sentence which says: Är det rätt med licensjakt på varg? (Is it right to hunt wolves?), please choose NEJ (NO)
Please forward this to as many people as you know and PLEASE send in your votes!!!!

This must be done before the debate starts! So vote right away, pleae! It´s live at 22:40 pm local time

If you are interested in more information on what is going on in Sweden, please scroll down and read a few of the posts.

Thank you very much!

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Wolf Day and Demonstration in Örebro

Another demonstration to protest against hunting of Swedish wolves is already being organised.

This time it will take place in Örebro.

Date: Thursday, February 4, 2010

Time: 5:00pm- 8:00pm

Location: Stortorget (the main square)

Invitation from the organisers:

We want this demonstration to show that we can not tolerate the wolf slaughter in Sweden.

Örebro is located between different wolf territories ... and therefore we want you to go out and show your support for the Swedish wolf living!

During the demonstration, various speakers and organizations will apear. More information on the program and details will come later.

Organizers: Rickard Karlsson and Maria Eriksson, members of SRF (Swedish Association for Predators)

Please read about this event at:
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#/event.php?eid=259483124617&ref=nf

Please, spread the word as widely as you can.

Please attend this protest if you have a chance. It is one of the ways how you can help to stop the nonsence, brutal, unjustified killing and bad governmental decision!

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DNA important wolf killed in Norway

A DNA important wolf was shot from a helicopter in North Trondelag, Norway. The permission to kill the wolf was granted on Saturday, December 21, afternoon, after three reindeers were found dead in East Namdal. The wolf was killed on Januray 11, 2010.

The Norwegian Evnironment Protection Agency has severly failed it´s job. Please read below, how they have dealt with the situation.

Important wolf, who is believed to originate from the Russian-Finnish strain, was shot in Norway January 11, 2010. A so-called genetic important wolf was convicted on Bang Sea in North-Trøndelag in Norway on 21 December. The wolf shot from a helicopter of the Norwegian authorities. The 43 kilograms heavy male was killed after harrassing reindeer in the Østre Namdal reindeer grazing district.

Environmental Protection Director Svein Karlsen says that it is easy to be wise after the event: "We had no indication that it was a wolf on a walk from the east, and we knew that the animal had killed reindeer. Potential harm was significant because there were 2 000 reindeer in the area. That is why we permited the killing,"

"Now, when we know that we were dealing with a Finnish-Russian wolf, we can say that we could have done more analysis before we made the killing decision. But it does not necessarily mean that the result would have been different", implies Svein Karlsen.

What kind of nonsence is that?! How could one lone wolf be a potential danger to 2000 raindeer?!

This has no scientific base at all. And it again proves the whole core problem, which has the same pattern around entire Scandinavia. The governments do not seek for solutions such as suffecient compensation to stock animal owners, as well as strict measures in dealing with illegal killing from not only hunters, but MAINLY farm animal owners and Saami people, who own the reindeer herds.

This is the core of motives for the war against wolves in Scandinavia!

The wolf had become the perfect foreigner. The perfect target for racism and xenofobia. The hated one that can be harrased and murdered, with government covering the murderer´s back.

-------------------

Read the source article (in Swedish): http://www.jagareforbundet.se/svenskjakt/Startsida/Nyheter/Viktig-invandrad-varg-skots-i-Norge/


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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Demonstration against wolf hunting - Stockholm, Sweden, January 17,2010

Unlike the press and media, who were invited to write about the event, and who not only chose to not write about it, but also manipulated a lot of information to fit their needs for supporting the government and hunting lobby, we bring the reflections of the demonstration that took place this past Sunday in Stockholm.

It was the first event of this kind, since the brutal slaughter of 27+ Swedish wolves took place between January 2-4th this year.

There were just days to prepare for it, organise it and announce it. Without financial and media backup. Despite that, it turned out to be a professional, well organised, well attended event, only thanks to a group of dedicated and commited people with passion and love for the wolves.

Several hundred people gathered in the old center of Sweden´s capital city, between the parliament building and the castle. I would like to objectively say how many people were there, but it is impossible, as many came after the official start.

What struck me the most of all, was the blend of ages, races, positions, education, etc.. From young people, to families with children, middle aged and pensioners. Politicians, artists, animal lovers, students of dog gymnasium, conservationalists, wildlife photographers, teachers, professors, and many more. What brought them together was one mutual cause - the love, passion and understanding for the wolf kind. The ethical feeling and knowing that what has happened in Sweden and what is going on, is TERRIBLY WRONG.

The speeches of representatives of many organisations and political parties, including the Swedish Predator Association (Svenska Rovdjurforeningen) and Grönt Partiet (Green Party), were absolutely clear:

The decision and act of Swedish government is TOTALY UNACCEPTABLE.
We cannot and will not let the delisting of wolves in Sweden from the endangered species continue.
We cannot and will not let the government kill another wolves, supported by only their ridiculous argument of inbreeding and population control (only a bit over 200 wolves lives in Sweden recently), and lobby from hunting association.

And then there were acts and sharing of experiences from ordinary people, who made one realise the horrible truth.

An older man showed his resignation to his long time employer, the Swedish ministry of agriculture. He rather risked his existence, than working for, and thus supporting the decision makers who ordered so many wolves to die for no reason.

There was a lady from Switzerland, who came to Sweden to study wolves and learn how to track them and anlyze their DNA. She told me a story of a wolf her student group "met" during field work last year, and whom got a name after one of the students. He traveled several hundred kilometers to a new teritory, where he found a partner (so much for closely inbred wolves) and was going to start a new pack. He was killed during the brutal slaughter in Värmland two weeks ago. The lady wasn´t able to finish without breaking into tears.

These, dear readers, are the real stories, that won´t be published in the mass media, such as SVT (Swedish natioal TV) or DN (Daily News). Instead, the half minute shot in TV informed about "group of about 50 animal lovers".

But that won´t change a thing on the fact, that the first of many protests took place, and united many more people with common sense.

It won´t change a fact that the politicians keep forgetting, that without voters, they won´t have their chairs in the next government.
And that there are many voters who are very angry about their government´s bad choices and unethical acts.

This sunday afternoon, when the castle walls lit up by torches and candles and the air filled with people singing and dancing, I felt the spirit of togetherness. The spirit that can help us win this war for our wild brothers, the wolves.

Let´s not give up! The journey continues.

“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.” -- Mahatma Gandhi

Picture is worth a thousand words:

Part of the crowd which media and hunting association called the "small group of about 50 wolf lovers".
Touching tributte to the 27+ wolves massacred during the recent wolf hunt, and the 12 wolf pack, wiped out at the Skane ZOO, one week later.

Students from Dog Gymnasium in Örekljunga (several hundred kilometers south of Stockholm) came to say: "With Dogs for Wolves"
Bobby Ho - founder of Bevara och Skydda Vargen (Save and Protect Wolves) group.
The man who bravely gave up his job, because he lives by his ethical standards. Not a very common act these days.
Famous Swedish rapper Dogge Dogelito - making the crowd dance, with his original texts about wolves and politics, and a catchy reage and rap rythms

Candles lit for the fallen wolves. We can´t let this hate killing continue...
Please surf through the blog for more information and subsrcibe to the news feed, to find out how you can help.
Share the information with as many people as you can. Invite your friends to read our blog and to find out what is going on in Sweden.
Permission to copy and repost this article (with a link to the Wolf Howl blog) granted.

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Finnish wolves are delisted, despite their criticaly low population

Please spare a thought for wolves in Finland. In Lapland, there are currently only around 35 or possibly even fewer wolves remaining in the wild, and within Finland there are only around 200. Hunters are shooting wolves in order to prevent them from attacking reindeer, who are herded and slaughtered for their meat and skins. While Finland promotes itself as a destination for lovers of the great outdoors, wolves are ruthlessly hunted on its snows. Tell the Finnish government to end the killing.

The Finnish government has authorised the killing of wolves in Lapland. With Finland's tiny wolf population already threatened by illegal hunting, the country must protect these charismatic animals. Hunting exposes these animals to injury and causes them a lingering, painful death. It is as inhumane as it is unnecessary. Finland should celebrate the presence of these remarkable and beautiful predators and encourage responsible ecotourism in the areas where they live. In doing so, the country would benefit both the wolves and the human population.

How you can help to End the Wolf Slaughter in Lapland:

Contact and consider joining the Nature League's Wolf Action Group:
Luonto-Liitto / Susiryhmä (Nature League´s Wolf Action Group)
Annankatu 26
A00100 Helsinki, FINLAND
tel. +358-9-684-4420


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Cool T-Shirts to help wolves in Sweden

Unlike the hunting lobby, the nature and wolf lovers don´t have a huge and rich association behind them to finance their activism.

Please help to fight against the wolf hunt in Sweden, which had already resulted in over 27 official wolf deaths, many life threatening injuries, wolf pupps left alone in fierce cold and hunger, when their parents were killed. Swedish government is planning a slaughter of minimum 50 more wolves next year, even though there are only a bit over 200 wolves in the entire country and their species are close to extinction.

Advertising, raising awareness, organising events for public to hear what is going on, all costs money, which needs to be donated and fundraised.

Please help the Bevara och Skydda Vargen (Save and Protec the Wolf) and Nordiska Rovjursnetverket (Nordic Network for Predators) groups in their outstanding efforts.

One of the ways is buying these cool, original and limited series T-shirts!:

"Bevara och Skydda Vargen - Save and Protect Wolves"

"Rör inte min varg! - Don´t touch my wolf!"
They are white with black print. Available in womens and mens models, and in all sizes. Good quality but LIMITED time only!

Mens 120:-SEK (12:-Euro), Womens 140:-SEK (14:-Euro).

Please, email your orders to: wolf@ostmediagroup.com

---------------------------------------

If you want to make a donation, here is the bank information:

Nordiska Rovdjursnätverket
Bank: Swedbank
Clearing nr: 8156-2
Kontonummer: 914 615 231-0
IBAN: SE6980000815629146152310
BIC/SWIFT: SWEDSESS

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Sweden plans to kill even more wolves in 2011

Two weeks have past since the governmental decision unleashed the brutal killing of 27+ wolves, by lifting a ban that stood for 45 years, in Sweden.

However, this is not just a tragedy for the endangered wolf species in Sweden, where only between 200 and 300 wolves struggle to survive in coexistance with prejudice and hate driven locals and hunters.

This is just the beginning.

The Swedish government decided to raise the quota to 50-60 wolves to be killed next year, including entire families (alfa wolves with their offspring, born between 2010 and 2011, to keep the population down at 200-210.

Since the first three January days, when the unethical and unprofessional, worldwide criticized hunt, which turned out into a brutal slaughter, shocking thousands of people, the media have been filled with press releases, statistics, interviews, discussions and more.

And as the time went by, the true story started to unfold...

Hidden by a prepared cover up from the hunting lobbyists, minister of environment Andreas Carlgren informed, that the hunt was a necessairy measure to cull individuals weakened by genetic disorders and malfunctions, caused by excessive inbreeding in the small wolf population.

Although scientists could not understand this absurde nonsense justification, this was Carlgren´s first attempt to manipulate and mislead the public. Wolf experts made a clear point then, that in order to solve the problem of inbreeding in the Swedish wolf population, more wolves with a new DNA pattern (fresh blood) would have to be introduced to the existing strain and the entire population rised up to between 500-2000 individuals, to maintain a healthy population and diversity.

When the official results of authopsies, performed on all the wolves, turned in for examination, came out, the scientistcs were not at all surprised (some even expected it) to hear all of the wolves were perfectly healthy, good and beautiful specimen.

After days of scilence, when Carlgren decided not to comment on the scientists´ criticism, new information came out through the press.

Many of the wolf experts suddenly changed their minds, and started to support the decision for extending the licenced culling.

Although charts, graphs and statistics clearly show how the wolf population in Sweden struggles, although illegal kiling by locals results in deaths of dozens of wolves in various regions of the country, the latest information, that ran through the media is that the population is successfuly rising annualy, and that illegal hunting is decreasing.

Some of the scientists started to support the administration, suggesting that culling next year by 50-60 wolves, will help maintain an optimal population size.

Just read all the articles published here in the past two weeks. Read and compare the information from the media, that we directly link to. Then you will know this is the plain, absurde, truth.

All this, and many other aditional information, add up to the total picture and help reveal the true motives of the legalized hunting.

Politics it is. Again, as countless times in history, the politics is dirty and it kills.

As long as the government will not start searching for solutions of illegal hunting, for the conflicts between people, their animals and the wolves, that result in intollerance and hate, wolves will keep struggling for their survival.

By freezing the wolf population (as the former government did), or by culling it down to near extinction (as the present one does), the illegal hunting, hate, misinformation and unacceptance will never stop.

And this is the truth in the nutshell. I have so many stories and evidence from the local hunters, who illegally kill wolves, and I hear experiences from the people who live their daily lives in the areas where the wolf wars are in it´s hottest core.

And I will focus more on informing on what is going on "behind the scences", and on bringing you closer to the reality of the rural and wilderness areas, where many people still believe in stories of the Little Red Hood, where people actually seriously believe there´s too many wolves out there, and who take nature for granted, as it´s always been here, ever since they knew. In the remote areas many people still take law into their hands, and believe that the best justice "is in the barrel", sort to speak. And they think the nature and the wildlife is theirs to do whatever they please with. The government let´s them get away with it.

Please follow the blog to obtain the latest updates on the situation in Sweden.

The more people read what is going on here, the more people will open their eyes, and more will join in helping the cause to save and protect the wolves in Sweden.

Together we can change the fate of the wolf kind, but we need to unite. We need every single voice to outweight the lobbyists, to send letters to the government and let them know what they are doing is absoultly unaceptable.

This year, there are elections in Sweden. A lot can be achieved then, with our votes.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. In deed, it´s the only thing that ever has" -- Margaret Meade.

Please, spread the word. Take action (you will find suggestions of how you can help wolves, on the menu on the right side of the blog). Feel free to comment, and express your thoughts.

The jounrey continues. The wolves need our help. Let´s not let them down!

Katerina

Read the article "More wolves to be killed" ("Fler Vargar ska skjutas") (in Swedish):http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/fler-vargar-ska-skjutas_4092385.svd

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Entire wolf pack euthanised in Orsa animal park

It hasn´t been even two weeks since the the brutal slaughtering of more than 27 wolves in Sweden, and there are already more tragical news.

After the absurde tragedy in Skane´s Animal Park, which should definitly be investigated further (we will inform about it on the blog in the upcomming days), we bring the sad news from Orsa bear park, where an entire wolf pack of 11, including puppies, was wiped out.

As long as animlas will be considered a property, uacceptable acts like this will keep happening, without any consequences.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Read the following newspaper article:
Source: http://www.dt.se/ (Translated by Google)

"Entire wolf pack killed "

It is not only Skåne's zoo who kill wolves. Last fall Grönklitt killed the whole wolf family, eleven animals. Grönklitt is getting new wolfes, the female comes from Riga in Latvia and the male from Langedrag in Norway.

"Alpha couple were too old, 14-15 years, "explains Pernilla Thalin, zoo director in Grönklitt. Since it would be difficult to bring new individuals in the pack all had to be killed. Now it has been wolves in the zoo over the winter, but there are seven wolves belonging Borås Zoo.

The decision to euthanise all of the wolves in Grönklitt was made after consultation with Mats Amundin on Kolmården. He is a wolf coordinator for the zoo in the entire Nordic region. Kenneth Ekwall at Stockholm University also works as a zoologist at Grönklitt. He explains that the alpha pair was about to go out of time and that there were some social problems in the pack. Kenneth Ekwall said that there were problems with previous inbreeding among zoo wolves in Sweden. These problems culminated in the 1970s. Since then, breeding efforts have focused on getting healthy wolves.


Grönklitt now has a new wolf from Latvia and one male from Norway is part of Mats Amundins plans to keep the zoo free of wolves inbreeding problems. Kenneth Ekwall explains the process of killing the wolves: first they will be sedated, then examined and finally they get a syringe with a substance that makes them fall asleep for good.

" We tend to be open with what is going on. We have previously informed the hunting organizations - We usually also notify the police before we kill animals. - It is always sad to do this, "says Ekwall regarding the killing of the old alpha pair and their pups.

Jan Norberg jan.norberg @ dt.se

Read the article in Swedish:
http://www.dt.se/nyheter/orsa/article557064.ece

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Environmental Organisations meet EU Comission - A hope for the future of Swedish wolves

Yesterday the representatives of WWF (World Wildlife Fun) and Swedish Association for Carnivores (Svenska Rovjurforeningen) met wit those of EU Comission.

Sweden has severly violated the rules within EU, for protection of endangered species of carnivores, when lifting the ban for licenced wolf hunting, after 45 years. The Swedish wolf population ranges only around 250 wolves in the whole large country, and is severly endgangered by illegal hunting, caused mainly by local intolerance and hate.

This is the first positive major step in helping the wolves survive, since the brutal three day slaughter between January 2-4th took place.


Please read the following article:

"Today hits environmentalism EU Comission" (google translate version)
By Jon Rohner

According to environmentalists, Sweden has violated the common rules on how endangered carnivores should be protected within the EU. Today the results will meet representatives of the Nature Conservation Society, WWF and the Swedish Society for Predators to a group senior officials at the European Commission.

According to Nature Conservation, WWF and the Swedish Society for Predator, now in place in Brussels met European Commission, Sweden has violated the EU's nature and habitat. A notification will be submitted shortly.

The organizations said that they are extremely hopeful that the EU will force the government to change its predator policy.

Previously, Finland has been convicted of hunting of wolves in similar circumstances. Environmental organizations argue that there is no doubt that the Swedish wolf hunting is illegal.

Scientists agree that the wolf in Sweden is far from a favorable status. The wolf is still an endangered species displayed on the official red list. "The hunt is simply illegal,"said SSNC chairman Mikael Karlsson. Nature Conservation Society also notes in a press release that the rules of the Habitats Directive, adopted in 1992. Sweden pledged to follow the directive of the accession to the EU in 1995. The directive makes clear that hunting license may only be permitted if the species reached the "favorable conservation status".

During the hunt wolves were felled indiscriminately without ready access to reduced property damage, the hunt was not targeted at specific individuals. Therefore, I believe that Sweden will be felled in the same way as Finland. I am convinced that the Commission and the Court will see through the government's increasingly strained attempts to persevere that the pursuit in January was legal, "says Oscar Alaric is environmental lawyer at the Society for Nature Conservation, who is now on place in Brussels.

Read the article in Swedish, at the original source: http://miljoaktuellt.idg.se/2.1845/1.285073/vargjakten-idag-traffar-miljororelsen-eu-kommissionen

UPDATE: The news has made it to the Swedish National Television SVT today:

Read: "Wolf hunt reported to the EU-comission"
("Vargjakten anmäls till EU-kommissionen") - http://svt.se/2.22620/1.1847371/vargjakt..

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Dance of Wolves

A tribute to all the wolves - the fallen, the present and the future.

Please help their beautiful species to survive. Take actions. Join us as we continue to fight for these wild children of nature. Read more and learn the truth about the wolf kind.


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Demonstration against wolf hunting in Sweden


Sunday, January 17, 2010 - Mynttorget, Stockholm
(old town - located between the castle and the parliament house)

14:00 - 17:00 pm

IN UNITY IS POWER - See You there!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”….Margaret Meade


Bevara och Skyda Vargen´s motto: "Don´t touch my wolf!"

Wolf Howl - blog for wolves will be covering the demonstration "live" and will bring reportage as well as photos. Sign up for our RSS feed and follow us.


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SMS to help stop the wolf hunting in Sweden

Please, help save wolves in Sweden!
!Help us with the fundraising for activities to stop the wolf hunting!


Even little donation means a lot! Please, share this information with your friends.

THANK YOU!

The interest group Bevara och Skydda Vargen (Save and Protect the Wolf), together with Nordic Predator Network (Nordiska Rovjurnetverket) are one of the largest and most proactive groups, that help save and protect the Swedish wolves.

Please, help them fundraise financial means to help the Swedish Wolves.

Send an SMS from your mobile phone with the word VARG and add either number 10, 25, 75 or 100 as en equivalent to the amount of Swedish crowns you would like to donate:

VARG 10 or VARG 25 or VARG 75 or VARG 100

!Important Note!: This is possible only from Swedish mobile phones

If you are outside the country, or prefer another way to send dontaion, you can use this account nr.:

Nordiska Rovdjursnätverket
Bank: Swedbank
Account nr. 914615231-0
Clearing nr.: 8156-2
IBAN: SE6980000815629146152310
BIC/SWIFT: SWEDSESS

ALL profits will support the group´s work for the wolves and their survival.

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Wolf - Endangered Species in Sweden and World


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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Authopsies prove all wolves were healthy!

Authopsies performed on all the wolves, officially shot during the brutal three day hunt in Sweden (January 2-4th, 2010) prove all of the wolves were healthy and in a good condition.

Minister of environment Andreas Carlgren, used concern for genetical disorders in the wolves, resulting from excessive inbreeding, as the major excuse to justify the lifting of the ban, which lasted for 45 years.

It is now more clear by each day, that it was a cover up of the real motives for the brutal, unethical hunt. Something that thousands of wolf lovers, experts and conservationalists have been pointing out already before the hunt started.

The experts at the Upsala university, that performed the authopsies, clearly state that the wolves were in great condition, beautiful specimen with no sings of genetic defects. The only thing that points out at inbreeding is the small amount of litters and small size of litters born. The scientists also say that culling the recent population is a disaster, because the gene pool of each remaining individual will be smaller.

Please read the following articles, which cover the recently perfomed authopsies and their results:

"All wolves were healthy"
(google translate version)

First five of the 27 wolves shot since the wolf hunt was launched last Saturday have been disscet at SVA, National Veterinary Institute in Uppsala.

Jonas Malmsten: "All dissect wolves were completely healthy. More dead wolves are expected to come in today and next week, expect veterinarians will be available."

"Even a large male wolf, who weighed 53.5 kilograms just before he was shot, "said Jonas Malmsten, assistant state veterinarian at SVA.

"He is a fine specimen, with well-developed muscles and large fine teeth. He does not have any specific injuries or lesions,"he says.

All wolves that underwent the authopsy so far have been healthy before they were killed. The results of authopsies will, among other, be sent to Environmental Protection Agency, which compiles the results of this year's hunting of wolves.

Original source in Swedish: http://www.sr.se/cgi-bin/varmland/nyheter/artikel.asp?artikel=3357355

"Healthy Wolves Killed" (in Swedish)
http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/friska-vargar-skjutna_4078911.svd

Excerpt from this article:

"it is impossible to know what wolves are inbred and which ones have new blood.- Environment Minister has misunderstood if he thinks it's possible to shoot the "right" wolf. We can not separate the inbred wolves from the new, "says Olof Liberg.

Also, please read this blog entry.

Read another related article:

"Minister dogged by more wolf hunt criticism" (in English)http://www.thelocal.se/24362/20100113/

Minister Carlgren left for an out of coutnry holiday and refuses to speak with the scientists...


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Sweden´s leading wolf researchers highly critical towards the genetic justification of the wolf hunting in Sweden

Sweden's leading wolf researchers are highly critical of the environment minister Andreas Carlgren justifying this year's hunting of wolves by "bad genes"


Female wolf killed right outside Kristinehamn on the very first day the ban was lifted, January 2, 2010

"It created an expectation that all shot animals would be deformed, which is a total misconception, "says Olof Liberg, coordinator of the wolf research project Skandulv.

In both opinion articles and interviews, Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren reasoned decision of the Government for the first time in almost fifty years, the general hunting in 27 wolves in wolves are not genetically healthy. He adds, moreover, that the rapid growth of genetically diseased wolves threaten to jeopardize the objective of the whole predator policy.

This year's hunting of wolves is largely completed. The dead wolves have been sent to National Veterinary Institute for analysis.

It's healthy and beautiful animals broadly, "says Carl Hård af Segerstad, Head of Unit at SVA.But it is not at all with the picture that the wolves are sick, creating debate.

So far, we dissect 24 animals. We've found a few little things but nothing serious, "said Carl Hård af Segerstad.

According to Olof Liberg, it is also exactly what the researchers had expected.

Carlgren has spread this misconception by his talk about the replacement of diseased wolves, "says Olof Liberg.

Previous studies have shown that about 10 percent of the wolves carry an abnormality. But the most serious effect is on reproduction. Litter size, the amount and persistence has been associated with inbreeding, "says Olof Liberg.

Hans Ellegren, professor of evolutionary biology at Uppsala University, has long followed the Swedish wolf. Nor does he see that inbreeding among the wolves is an argument for hunting. On the contrary, reduces the genetic variation in the stem for each animal shot.

As long as the strain is so small you can not scientifically justify hunting, "says Hans Ellegren.

Therefore, researchers agree that the most important measure of the wolf's future is to move into new wolves.

The hunt is only one way to get a wider acceptance of wolves, "says Olof Liberg.

According to parliamentary decision last fall to more than 20 wolves in the coming years to be the Swedish population. In the first instance, wolves who voluntarily walks into Sweden in the north moves southward. In the alternative might be required for import of wolves.

It becomes difficult to gain acceptance locally to release new wolves in an area, "said Susanna Löfgren, responsible for wildlife management in the Environmental Protection Agency.

Environment Andreas Carlgren is on holiday abroad and have chosen not to comment on criticism from the scientific direction.

Surce: http://www.dn.se/nyheter/sverige/inavel-hos-fa-av-de-skjutna-vargarna-1.1025971
author: Annika Nilsson, annika.nilsson @ dn.se

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Article by Claes Andrén, Professor of Conservation Biology, Nordens Ark

Source: http://www.nordensark.se/
Published with an expressed premition by the author.
(Please excuse the not so acurate translation, article has been google-translated).
Nordens Ark is closely monitoring the measures taken to ensure a vibrant Swedish wolf population The wolf is classified as acute danger of extinction in our country and the goal of conservation efforts must be accompanied by actions to create the conditions for long-term functioning wolf tribe. There are two important starting points to consider, first, to increase the genetic variation, and secondly to increase the total population size in the country. To increase the genetic variation can be achieved by facilitating the immigration or actively move here unrelated animals. In the case of minimum population size needed to eventually maintain a favorable conservation status, researchers' recommendations vary from 500 to 2000 animals.

The governmental reasoning of the wolf hunt was stated by Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren in the morning news in P1 on Monday, 4 / 1 as part of a long-term conservation of the species, but the logic of this is difficult to understand. The previous government set an interim target of just over 200 wolves, and the current government has decided to "freeze" the wolf population size to 210 in order to later evaluate. This is less than half of what researchers in population genetics at Uppsala University consider to be the minimum population size required for the wolf population to survive in the long run. Despite this, Parliament decided on a firing of 27 wolves.

Allowing the presence of large carnivores in one country may involve conflicts of interests. When wolves attack domestic animals should, of course, the affected owners be compensated and farm animals as far as possible protected. By protective for wolves that cause these conflicts are removed. A wolf pack has a social system in which the team is led by an alfa pair, one male and one female, and their offspring. As long as the group has this structure, it works relatively stable as a cohesive unit. Older offspring, especially males, tend to eventually leave the group in search of a female, and form a new territory. If you want to hunt reduce conflict between wolves and domestic animals, should be put into protective of designated areas where these problems are greatest, we should also strive to remove the entire family groups, ie alpha pair and their pups.

Canadian studies show that the two alpha animals shot, there is great risk that the remaining young animals are lost and spread and can cause more problems than it would solve the quest. The hunt is now carried on the county administrative boards have not received a directive to exclude alpha animals, but the people as you got suspended, we have not identified the turf where conflicts with domestic animals could justify hunting. Five counties have received a fixed allocation of animals and then have the hunt were basically free. According to a circular ring to the various counties as presented in the report on Monday evening on January 4, almost one third, 7 of 25 wolves, were injured shot and killed later after hours of suffering.

Viggo Nielsen at the County Administrative Board of Dalarna is critical to how the hunt conducted and believes that it is not always exercised by skilled hunters. The researcher and veterinarian Jon M Amemo in the Scandinavian wolf project believe that such a game should have been done by hunters with special knowledge about wolves, but such claims have been under Per Risberg on Environmental Protection Agency did not exist. (Read more www.svt.se Report 4 / 1) We wonder what the Government wants to achieve with this policy. For two days, the race largely closed, scattered animal has been shot in many different territories. It has thus not reduced the risk of conflicts with domestic animals, has been hunting at the time of shooting wolves without knowing it's alpha animal, and at worst it has been created when groups of misguided wolves spread into the countryside. It has allowed hunting in an acute endangered predators in conflict with scientific recommendations on the minimum population size required for a viable wolf population. We follow with interest the measures which the Government proposes to ensure that the 20 new wolves enriches the Swedish wolf population.

Claes Andrén
Professor of Conservation Biology
Scientific Director Nordens Ark
The whole article in Swedish:
Nordens Ark följer noga de åtgärder som vidtas för att säkerställa en livskraftig svensk vargstam. Vargen är klassad som akut utrotningshotad i vårt land och målet med bevarandearbetet måste vara att med olika åtgärder skapa förutsättningar för en långsiktigt väl fungerande vargstam. Det finns två viktiga utgångspunkter att ta hänsyn till, dels att öka den genetiska variationen, och dels att öka populationsstorleken totalt i landet. Att öka den genetiska variationen kan ske genom att underlätta invandring eller att aktivt flytta hit obesläktade djur. När det gäller minsta populationsstorlek som krävs för att på sikt vidmakthålla en gynnsam bevarandestatus, så varierar forskarnas rekommendationer från 500 till 2000 djur.

Den av Riksdagen beslutade vargjakten uppgavs av miljöminister Andreas Carlgren i morgonnyheterna i P1 måndagen den 4/1 vara ett led i ett långsiktigt bevarande av arten, men logiken i detta är svår att förstå. Den förra regeringen satte upp ett etappmål på drygt 200 vargar och den nuvarande regeringen har bestämt sig för att ”frysa” vargstammens storlek till 210 för att längre fram göra en utvärdering. Detta är mindre än hälften av vad forskare inom populationsgenetik på Uppsala universitet anser vara den minsta populationsstorlek som krävs för att vargstammen skall överleva på sikt. Trots detta beslutar Riksdagen om en avskjutning av 27 vargar.

Att tillåta förekomsten av stora rovdjur i ett land kan innebära konflikter med olika intressen. När vargar angriper tamboskap ska givetvis de drabbade djurägarna ersättas och tamboskapen så långt möjligt skyddas. Genom skyddsjakt kan vargar som orsakar dessa konflikter tas bort. En vargflock har ett socialt system där gruppen leds av ett alfapar, en hane och en hona, och deras ungar. Så länge gruppen har denna struktur fungerar den relativt stabilt som en sammanhållen enhet. Äldre ungar, främst hanar, brukar så småningom lämna gruppen för att söka en hona och bilda ett nytt revir. Om man med jakt vill minska konflikten mellan varg och tamdjur, borde man sätta in skyddsjakt i utpekade områden där dessa problem är störst, man borde också sträva efter att ta bort hela familjegrupper, d.v.s. alfaparet och deras ungar.

Kanadensiska studier visar att om båda alfadjuren skjuts finns det stor risk att de kvarvarande unga djuren blir vilsna och sprids och kan ställa till större problem än de man ville lösa med jakten. I den jakt som nu bedrivits har länsstyrelserna inte fått direktiv att undanta alfadjuren, utan vilka individer som helst fick skjutas, man har inte heller pekat ut de revir där konflikterna med tamdjur skulle kunna motivera jakt. Fem län har fått en bestämd tilldelning av djur och därefter har jakten i princip varit fri. Enligt en rundringning till de olika länen som redovisades i Rapport på måndagskvällen den 4/1 har nästan en tredjedel, 7 av 25 vargar, skadeskjutits och avlivats senare vid eftersök.

Viggo Nielsen på Länsstyrelsen i Dalarna är kritisk till hur jakten bedrivits och menar att den inte alltid utövats av skickliga jägare. Forskaren och veterinären Jon M Amemo inom skandinaviska vargprojektet anser att en sådan jakt borde ha skett av jägare med särskild kunskap om vargar, men sådana krav har enligt Per Risberg på Naturvårdsverket inte funnits. (Läs mer http://www.svt.se/ Rapport 4/1) Vi frågar oss vad Regeringen vill uppnå med denna politik. På två dagar har jakten i stort sett avslutats, spridda djur har skjutits i många olika revir. Man har på detta sätt inte minskat risken för konflikter med tamdjur, man har vid jakttillfället skjutit vargar utan vetskap om det är alfadjur och i värsta fall har man då skapat grupper av vilsna vargar som sprider sig i landskapet. Man har tillåtit jakt på ett akut utrotningshotat rovdjur i strid med forskarnas rekommendationer om minsta populationsstorlek som krävs för en livskraftig vargstam. Vi följer också med intresse de åtgärder som regeringen föreslår för att säkerställa att 20 nya vargar berikar den svenska vargstammen.

Claes Andrén
Professor i bevarandebiologi
Vetenskaplig ledare Nordens Ark

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Meet the Wolves

Many people never had the oportunity to meet a wolf face to face. Many people have unfortunatley developed a one-sided opinon, based on myths and wrong information from wolf haters, around the globe.

The Bevara och Skydda Vargen! (Save and Protect the Wolf!) group, and it´s creator Bobby Ho, made this short video to bring the wolves closer to you. To see their beauty and social behaviour.

Meet the wolves, the children of nature, who need us, to help their species to survive. Hundreds are hunted down each year and brutally killed. Please go to Did you know... section, and learn more about these beautiful animals, whose species is endangered.

video

Posted with permission from the author, Bobby Ho, Bevara och Skydda Vargen


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Press release from Swedish Wildlife Association, regarding the January slaughter of wolves

Please excuse the not so acurate translation, article has been google-translated.

Wolf Slaughter in January - a black stain in the history of coservation!

Many people have reacted strongly, and with strong disgust at the mass hunting of wolves as recently witnessed by the media, "said Swedish Wildlife Association.

The hunt, which, according to Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren's constantly repeated mantra would be "limited and strictly controlled" meant in reality that thousands of hunters, both injured animals and shot over the allocated quota of over 10% of the population. The current situation is unclear how many wolves were actually taken down.

Swedish Wildlife Association has never received so many responses from so many people from such diverse places of accommodation and professions, as now, when when it went up to the Swedish people that the government opened the doors of the mass hunting of Sweden's few wolves. We quickly got over 10 000 signatures in protest against the hunt, "says Ann Dahlerus, general secretary of the Swedish Society for Predators. - Alliance has had such a rush to honor the 2006 election promise on the hunting of wolves for the election year of 2010 that the proper preparation, which was the least we could claim for the controversy over hunting was stress on the foot.

Neither the Environmental Protection Agency or the county administrative boards have been given time to ensure that the hunt was held in such strictly controlled conditions as the situation requires, "says Krister Persson, chairman of the Swedish Society for Predators.

Ultimately responsible for hunting are the two decisive Center Party ministers Andreas Carlgen and Eskil Erlandsson, who with cloudy argument advocating for the hunt as if it would be basically a good thing for the wolf population. The Minister has in several media elements claimed that the purpose of hunting is to shoot animals that suffer from genetic defects, presumably in order to get the search to be "humane" and forward looking. - He speaks in good faith. Wolves have been shot indiscriminately and there was no plan to target your hunt for specific animals. In addition, there are no opportunities to identify a wolf who might suffer some genetic damage, which is hopefully only a few animals do so far. Perfectly healthy wolves were shot.

To cull by more than 10% of the wolf population is obviously not an acceptable strategy to maintain a small and highly isolated wolf population, "said Ann Dahlerus.

The most urgent measures is to allow the wolf population grow until it becomes larger and more stable and allowing the wolf-ups even in the north where they are now banned. Genetic connect naturally with the Finnish-Russian population is essential for the wolf population long-term survival, "says Krister Persson.

Judging from the responses received to the Swedish Association of Predators in recent days, many people find it absurd that the hunting of a critically endangered wolf population is released to thousands of hunters at the same time and takes place in forms resembling a pure joy of hunting!

It seems that there among the hunting comunity, there was a real excitement about the wolf hunt, and reporting from diferent locations gives the impression that wolf hunting is seen as a real highlight. In light of the predators hostile sentiments contained within a small but combative segments within the hunting core have surely demands that stand in 25 degrees below zero was significant, "says Anders Ekholm, regional manager for the Swedish Association Predators within the county.

The association now expects the authorities to thoroughly evaluate how the hunt was organized and put into practice in parallel with a rapid assessment of the impact on wolf population. What animals were shot? Including information on descendants of immigrants and how is the current situation for surviving puppies in turf where the parent stock was shot?

For more information contact:
Ann Dahlerus, Secretary General of Swedish Predators' Association, tel 0768-500 653rd

Krister Persson, President of Swedish Association Predators, tel 070-643 88 69th


Anders Ekholm, regional manager Gävleborg Swedish Predators Association, phone 026-29 51 10, 070-651 56 32nd

Download the press release via the link below:
http://www.rovdjur.se/pag, 01,1,96,97,463. html

Read the article in Swedish: http://www.rovdjur.se/shi,11,1,1464.html

Also, please read: "Wolf hunting - Scandal in Swedish Conservation" (Vargjakten scandal i Svensk naturvard")

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SHOCKING: Official statistics by Swedish hunting association, of wolves slaughtered January 2-4, 2010

Official statistics of wolves killed during the slaughter between January 2-4th, 2010, in Sweden, are now out. These statistics are released by the Swedish hunting association.
Majority of the information in the chart proves and claryfies a lot of information that ran through the press in the past days, and that is published in our blog, since the hunt started.

Unfortunately, it meas a very tragic news have been officially confirmed. Such as:

ALFA WOLVES KILLED - total of 5

ALFA PAIR - PARENTS OF 6 PUPPIES KILLED

MANY WOLVES INJURED AND KILLED AFTER HOURS AND DAYS (leaving them in pain and agony)

PUPPIES KILLED - total of 13 (from 2009 litters)

FEMALE WOLF SHOT, TOOK HALF HOUR FOR HER TO DIE (!) - how is this possible??!!! Why wasn´t she shot to die quickly? The hunters purposely left her dieing slowly! And found the time to take pictures! Here is a photo to document it:

WOLF KILLED WHILE HUNTING A DEAR AND BRINGING IT TO THE PACK TO FEED HIS FAMILY

WOLVES WITH RADIO TRANSMITTERS KILLED - easy tracking!

OVERSHOOTING THE QUOTA

All this proves and confirms: Unprofessional organisation, no hunting ethics applied, purposely chosen leaders (alfa wolves) and other individuals to cause greater demage (for years to come!), hearltess killing driven by hate and joy for killing and torturing, and more.
Please see the chart below. Click to enlarge or click this link, to the original post at Swedish hunting association´s website.
A few translation notes to the chart:
Län = county
Datum fälld = date killed
Datum Paskjuten = date shot (injured), but not killed
Revir = teritory
Plats = location
Kön = gender
Alder = age
Vikt = weight
Antal djur i saten = animals totally in site on location
Foraldra djur = adults (including alfa)
Ingar i par = together in pair
Ensam djur = single animal
Ungdjur/Valp i revir = young wolves/puppies in teritory
Anm = notes, comments

The overshot wolves were not listed in the chart, for some reason (!), but are mentioned sporadically on the hunting association´s website.
The Swedish hunting association still considers this a successful hunt, that went smoothly without any problems!!!

Please, help to stop the nonsense, brutal killing of wovles in Sweden, and other parts of the world!

TAKE ACTION by signing petitions, donating, and joining conservation groups. See links and more info at the menu on the right side of the blog.

THANK YOU!

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Genetics does not justify the wolf hunt

Andreas Carlgren, Swedish Minister of the Environment, has argued that the wolf hunt will encourage the genetic revitalisation of the severely in-bred Swedish wolf population.

However, this claim is refused by Hans Ellegren, professor in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Uppsala He says that – to the contrary – if the aim is a genetic revitalisation of the Swedish wolf population, then a significant increase in their numbers is needed.“All measures to reduce the number of wolves will have a negative effect on the wolf population”“From a scientific viewpoint, the present number of 200 wolves is far too small if we want a long-term, sustainable, healthy wolf population. So any measures which reduce the number of wolves will have a negative effect on the wolf population.”

How many wolves would be needed, to establish a healthy basis?“That’s harder to say. It’s difficult to make exact predictions for a specific species. But 1,000 wolves would probably be considered a healthy group. Of course, that would presuppose an already high level of genetic variation – which is not the case with the Swedish wolves, who probably all descend from only three individuals. A couple of new individuals have immigrated, which has brought in some new blood, but that’s not enough. A much greater amount of new blood is needed, than there has been so far”, says Hans Ellegren.

His research group has been studying the Scandinavian wolf population for 15 years. Using various DNA techniques, they have measured and examined the genetic variation in the group and have observed that there is an unusually low level of genetic variation - due to the fact that the whole group descends from just a few individuals. There is extensive in-breeding.

According to the Minister of the Environment Andreas Carlgren, one of the arguments for allowing the wolf hunt is that it will encourage the genetic revitalisation of the wolf population. But Hans Ellegren cannot understand such reasoning. “I would imagine that what he (Carlgren) probably means, is that first and foremost the most in-bred individuals should be removed. And naturally, if any are to be removed at all, then it’s better to remove those, than to remove the ones with greater genetic variation. But in order to do so, then all the wolves would first have to be examined and tagged, so we could recognise each individual and see which are the ones with a higher level of genetic variation. However, it must be said that it is difficult to regulate nature in this way. For example, in the laboratory we can measure the level of genetic variation, but we cannot see whether a certain individual is the bearer of a disease that has not yet been characterised. So it would be a very rough estimate – to try to characterise the whole wolf population in advance and then pick out individuals on that basis. That seems to be a very weak argument, from a scientific viewpoint”, says Hans Ellegren.

In an international perspective, the wolf is not an endangered species. However, the prospects for the survival of the Swedish wolf population in the long term are poor. In order to save them, two measures are needed, according to Hans Ellegren.“From a strictly scientific viewpoint – because I do realise that this is a political issue with many dimensions – the two most important measures to take at present are: 1 - allow the wolf population to grow as quickly as possible, so that the numbers increase, and 2 - make sure that new blood comes in, somehow”, says Hans Ellegren, professor in evolutionary Biology at Uppsala University.

Reporter Maria Quistberg/Published Jan. 4, 2010-01-07
by: Carolyn Belgrave Rappestad © ostmediagroup X

Translated and quoted directly from the article on the website of SR International - Radio Sweden.
Read the original article in Swedish, on SR International: http://www.sr.se/cgi-bin/international/artikel.asp?Artikel=3348972

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Of Wolves and Men

I hope many wolf hunters and those, who critize the efforts of wolf supporters, will read my story.

I am not a vegetarian and I am not against animal hunting. Hunting for food, and logical hunting, that is. I am not an oversensitive city person, that never saw a wild animal in it´s natural surroundings.

I am an experienced breeder of working siberian huskies and I share my life with around 50 dogs, for 20 years. these dogs have very much similar behaviour and are genetically closest to the wolf.

I am also long time conservationalist. And I have never heared any such thing, that inbreeding of wolves would bring them to such extreme situation, that they would need to be shot for that. (On that note, I am really glad to have read an article on http://www.sr.se/ yesterady, called "Genetics No Reason for Wolf Hunt" which clearly confirmed, after a debate with Hans Ellegren, proffesor of evolution biology, University of Uppsala, Sweden), what I just said).

Instead, in such situations, those who really care for wolves, not those who find an easy and brutal solution, which will satisfy their trophy hunting needs, come with relocating programs, colars with electronic devices are attached to wolves so the population can be monitored and we can learn more about their living, instead of getting rid of them without even knowing them.

I wonder how many of the hunters who went out in the past days, and killed the wolves, know them, their social habbits, their way of hunting prey, their importance to the ecosystem.
People say that there is too many moose, so we need to keep their numbers down. But they forget, that it is not entirely up to us. The wolves, the coyotes, the bears and other beasts have the same rights to help keeping the numbers down and keeping the balance in nature. In fact, they are the ones who work the smarter and more "human" way than we do. They take the weakest individuals from the herds. They never go fo the leaders, for the strongest ones. But many human hunters try to go for those big, chunky, juicy ones or for those with the most majestic antlers. So where is the wisdom?

Another argument I see all the time lately, is pictures of dogs ripped apart by wolves. First of all, who gives a 100% guarantee, that all of them were killed by wolves, secondly, the interesting evidence is, that vast majority of these dogs are hunting breeds. Coincidence? I don´t think so.

The largest Swedish insurance company, Agria, which insures over 70% of Swedish dogs, provided interesting statistics of dogs being killed annually. Only a small percent of them were confirmed to be killed by wolves and those were confirmed to be hunting dogs!

An interesting number to mention is also the amount of dogs being killed by hunters annually - 135, comparing to wolves, which was about 30 in the past few years.

Regarding the small percent of companion dogs that were really killed by wolves - if people live in areas with high wolf and other wild predator population, it is their own risk and excuse my language, also stupidity, that they do not secure their animals well enough.

We live in the middle of wilderness, nearest community is 10km, nearest town with infrastructures (shops, gas station, post office) is 40km. We live right in the woods. I am always extra cautious when I go for walk in the woods with my dogs.There are eagles circulating above our kennel and house when we have small puppies, so we had to build our puppy kennels so that the big birds can´t hunt them. We never leave the dogs unattended, if they are not in their kennels.

Two years ago, I was attacked with my dog team by moose. The moose held us on place for two hours and kicked into my dogs seven times. Due to incredible amount of luck, we managed to escape the moose´s attacks with just a few minor injuries on a few dogs. Do I hate moose since then? Do I want to kill them brutally? No. I am just extra careful and I know that next time I meet one, who is wounded (like this one) or doesn´t want to leave the trail, I will turn my team around.

A man in our neighbourhood has a herd of 20+ sheep. He has them well secured. They´ve never been taken by wolf. He experienced a lynx attack once, and since then, he keeps his sheep close to the house at night. He also has several very good and sharp herding dogs.

It is us, humans, who have (or I should say should have) more brains and should make wise decisions to prevent tragedies. The planet does not belong to us exclusively. Many species were here before us. We have likquidated so many plants and animals already. And every time we feel we don´t have enough space for our comfortable living, we just go ahead and kill some more.
What would we do if the animals decided the same about us? that there´s too many of us? That we are sick, that we have many weak ones, or with genetic disorders among us, and therefore a certain quota should be killed? You would call that inhumane, right? And what we do the underpopulated, endangered species of wolves? We inhumanely and brutally planish their families and leave their children alone, in the middle of the winter, without the elders who provide food. We leave them starve to death. We proudly show off our trophies. Our easy trophies.

Almost every hunter I´ve ever met told me, that hunting is a wise thing. That animals can´t be put in disadvantage. That only certain amount of hunters can be in one group, to make it fair for the animal. Wow, so how is it possible that it was allowed for over 1200 hunters to kill 27 wolves?! That is absolutly unaceptable. And brutal and immoral. Swedish government should never consult the wolf problematic with the hunting association. None of them are experts in wolf behaviour. Conservationalist experts should have been contacted and consulted, before this tragic decision was made.

If you read the article below ("Sad News with Consequences - Tragedy for Sweden´s Wolves) I reposted yesterday, you will clearly see that the hunt of 27 animals to keep the population down, will result in a tragedy - as it was planned to decimate the wolf packs into such extend, that their species would barely recover. I also wonder, if the Swedish government knows about this plan, and if they specified what kind of animals (age, sex, etc.) should be killed. I do not want to believe that the decision makers would specifically tell to kill so many pack leaders, pupps, parents of young, dependent pupps, etc. This is a totally immoral, unacceptable act, that has to be investigated and punished. And many steps have to be taken, not to ever repeat such terrifying act that cannot be forgiven. Over one weekend of brutal killing, Sweden has lost it´s position of a leader in ecology and environmentalism. This country cannot any longer be used as a good example for other countires. But that is another story.
I could write on and on. The point is clear. Not all of us, who protect wolves and protest about this bad decision of the Swedish government, are city people and vegans who never set a foot in the woods, or anarchists that have to protest against everything. We are not driven by hate. Many of us, unlike the wolf hunters, know what we are saying. We read facts and follow stastistics. We listen to experts and to the common sence. How come the government and the hunters don´t?

With hopes and wishes that more of us will open our eyes and hearts.

Katerina

P.S. I would also like to make a clear statement, that I do not put all hunters in the same box, labeled "bad". I know quite a lot of hunters, some of which are my friends. They love and respect nature, and they follow a code of ethics. And they will not take this as an attack.

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