The population of wolves in Sweden has dropped 20 per cent over last year, largely due to a cull.
English-language newspaper TheLocal.se reported that the national environmental agency, Naturvårdsverket, released the figures today, noting that only an estimated 340 wolves are left in the entire country.
Wolves were considered extinct in Sweden in the 1970s and have made a strong recovery – but ongoing hunting will not help populations. A recent American study showed that a government sanctioned cull, such as the one in Sweden, actually increases poaching of wolves, rather than safely controlling the population.
Strangely, authorities in neighbouring Norway announced today wolf populations in their country had doubled.
European nations (as well as American states and Canadian provinces) need to begin looking at biome populations, rather than within arbitrary borders drawn by people. We need to look at whole ecosystems to understand the health of populations – and how we can keep our whole planet healthy.