Conservation of the wolf population in Sweden

On 26/11/2012, in All posts, by Animal Welfare Intergroup

Letter of the Intergroup to Mr Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for Environment

On behalf of the Members of the EP Animal Welfare Intergroup I am writing to you concerning the on-going discussions in Sweden about a minimum viable population of wolves.

In early July of this year you met with Lena Ek, the Swedish Minister for Environment to discuss the management plan for the conservation of the wolf population inSweden, in the context of the related infringement procedure.

You welcomed the management plan submitted by the Swedish authorities as an important step in achieving compliance with EU environmental rules but you made it also clear that it would need further improvements.

The management plan should indicate how and when the favourable conservation status of wolves will be reached, what would constitute a sustainable population size, and what measures will be taken to improve the genetic status of the wolf population. The plan must be able to withstand scientific scrutiny, notably the definition of a minimum viable population of wolves.

You were confident that the Commission would see further improvements to the management plan before it starts to apply in January 2013.

Meanwhile, Minister Ek claimed in late October that a viable wolf population inSwedendoes not need to consist of more than 180 individuals. If this figure is accepted for the management plan it will lead to the shooting of dozens of wolves to bring them down to the expected but unviable population level.

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, which is the authority responsible in this field and possesses scientific expertise, has concluded thatSweden’s wolf population needs to have at least 380 individuals and that at least seven wolves per decade need to enter the country from elsewhere and reproduce in order for the population to be regarded as viable.

Considering what you said earlier this year the EP Animal welfare Intergroup calls on the Commission to dissuade any atempts to lower the figure for a minimum viable population of wolves inSweden.

Giving in on this issue could set a precedent and incite movements in other Member States to lower their wolf populations.

I thank you for your consideration and look forward to your reply.


Dan Jørgensen MEP Carl Schlyter MEP
President Honorary   President



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