11,000 people want to kill half of the last 30 wolves in Norway
Wolves have declined in numbers in many parts of the world and are extinct in the UK and other places where they once lived. In Norway, they are down to just 30 animals but that has not stopped over 11,000 people wanting to hunt half of these remaining wolves and kill them!
Wolves (Canis lupus lupus) at Polar Zoo in municipality of Bardu, Troms County, Norway (Photo: Taral Jansen)
Yes, despite the very low numbers of this magnificent animal still surviving in this Scandinavian country, it has been reported in The Guardian, that 11,571 people have applied for hunting licenses so they can kill 16 of these wolves. That means we have the alarming figure of 723 hunters for each wolf! And, how can anyone ensure that no more than 16 wolves are killed in any case, and what about illegal hunting?
The hunting season in Norway started on 1 October and continues until the end of March, so that means six months of extreme danger for the Norwegian wolves.
Why do people want to hunt wolves?
Hunting is very popular with Norwegian men who view it as a traditional sport, and presumably makes them feel macho. It is reported that there are 200,000 registered hunters in Norway. Most of these hunters are men, and only 500 women signed up to hunt this year.
Hunting licenses are granted so that hunters can help protect livestock. Sadly in many parts of the world, wolves are forced to kill farmed animals or go without food because their natural prey are so low in numbers and the habitats are so degraded due to humans. Wolves also are forced to scavenge on garbage like foxes.
Updated range of grey wolves in Eurasia. (Photo: Public Domain)
Norway's wolf populations would stand a better chance if they were in Sweden, Finland or Russia, where the animals have better governmental protection. Wolves are a fully protected species in Sweden where their numbers are increasing.
Bears in Norway
Bears in Norway are under serious threat from hunters too. 10,930 registered hunters want to track down and shoot 18 Norwegian brown bears.
Brown bear (Photo: Public Domain)
Petition to Save the Wolves of Norway
Fortunately, there is something you can do if, like me, you want to help save the Norwegian wolves. There is a petition that can be signed, and sometimes petitions really do get results and are worth signing!