Saturday, 9 February 2013

Sweden hunts more wolves 'to help genetic diversity'

Wolves in Europe being targeted again
February 2012. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has authorized the hunting of 16 wolves in what conservationists have described as a surprising U-turn.

According to WWF Sweden "It is a surprising decision that was not included in the management plan for wolves published as recently as last summer.

"This will constitute a complete U-turn compared from what Sweden's Environmental Protection Agency said a few weeks ago when they announced that the hunt would not be allowed. Since no new scientific information has emerged, this U-turn is a mystery, says Håkan Wirtén, Secretary General of WWF.

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has announced permission for "selective and targeted hunt of inbred wolves as a step towards reducing inbreeding and having a sustainable, healthy wolf population. A selective and targeted hunt is the only method that can reduce the level of inbreeding in the short term," it said. Wildlife Extra questions how hunting solves an inbreeding problem. If the problem is bad, the wolves won't thrive due to a lack of genetic diversity. There are currently no plans to bring wolves in from Finland or Russia, another way to boost the genetic diversity.

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