Sally Matthews

  Norwegian Wolf Project

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Three bronze wolves - STI FOR ØYE Fossnes, Norway.

It is true that the Norwegian government has been responsible for some very controversial wolf hunts both in 2001 (1 pack of 9 wolves were killed) and in 2005 were 3 out of four packs or groups were killed. The governmental goal for wolves in Norway is 3 annual reproductions which means 3 intact packs. This was decided in 2004 by the Parliament. And in 2004 we had 3 reproductions. Then, in 2005 and 2006, the numbers were 2 and 1 respectively. In 2007 there were no wolf pups born in Norway. A new breeding pair was discovered winter 2007/08, and there was a lot of pressure to get them killed. Especially from the conservative parties. However, with strong pressure from WWF, they were saved. The result was that 7 pups were born in the spring of 2008! I just got news that 2 more packs gave birth to pups last spring. This means that there is growth in the population again.

However, there is more to this story. In two of the packs they have not been able to track the parents. If they are dead it means that the pups may die during winter. A recent report show that 50 % of the mortality is due to poaching. This is probably why the Norwegian population declined to half it's populations size between 2006 and 2007. During winter 2007/08 the scientist estimated to Norwegian wolf population to between 8 and 15.

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