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Wolf population drops due to illegal hunting

Finland’s wolf population has fallen to under 150 from last year’s numbers of 150-180, according to latest figures from the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute. The institute says that poaching is largely responsible for the drop.

Kuollut susi makaa metsästäjien jalkojen juuressa Ruotsin Värmlandissa.
Image: SVT

The institute completed its wolf count this week. According to researcher Samuli Heikkinen, it is clear that people kill dozens of wolves every year.

“When we leave aside traffic-related deaths and deaths from other natural causes, there remains no other option,” he says.

Meanwhile, the Finnish Hunters’ Association estimates that over 300 wolves roamed Finland last year – in other words, twice the number that the institute has put forward. Heikkinen says that the association’s figures are erroneous and stem from a different way of counting wolves.

“Hunters count the same tracks several times,” Heikkinen says.

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