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More wolf hunting possible

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has issued new regulations that set a quota for wolf hunting only outside reindeer management areas. While the national quota has been cut by half, an exemption for areas where reindeer are a source of livelihood could mean even more are felled.

Susi Suomen ja Venäjän välisellä rajavyöhykkeellä Kuhmossa. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

Under the new regulations special permits can be issued during the next eight months for hunters to shoot up to ten wolves in parts of the country outside reindeer management areas.

Last year's quota was for 20 wolves. Of those 18 were shot in reindeer management areas.

Now, special permits can be issued on a case-by-case basis to hunt down wolves in reindeer management areas, without a fixed upper limit on the number.

According to Chief Inspector Jussi Laanikari of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the intention is to reduce damage by wolves to reindeer herds.

"A quota has been found to be no more than a limiting factor in reindeer management areas," he told Yle.

The new regulations come into force on the 19th of November and will remain in force up to July 31, 2013.

There are an estimated 180-200 wolves in the wild in Finland. Of those 20-40 regularly roam areas where reindeer are a source of livelihood. Those numbers vary by season and are often inflated by wolves coming across the border from Russia. So far this year, wolves have been responsible for over one million euros worth of livestock losses to reindeer herders.

However, wolves are a protected species and can only be hunted with a special permit issued by game management authorities.

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