WWF-Norway is suing the state and demanding a revised wolf management. – Enough is enough. We have tried everything else. The culling is against the law and must be stopped before it is too late to save a critically endangered species, said Ingrid Lomelde, Policy Director at WWF-Norway.
The Norwegian management of wolves goes against the constitution, the Biodiversity Act and the Bern Convention and now the courts must decide whether it has to be changed, stated WWF-Norway. The organisation has provided a subpoena of the state to the Oslo District Court.
– The current situation is dramatic for the critically endangered wolf – and an embarrassment to Norway as a self-proclaimed environmental champion, said Lomelde.
No time to waste
In addition to demanding that the Norwegian wolf management must take into consideration national laws and international obligations, WWF-Norway also demands a temporary injunction of this season´s culling in order to stop it immediately.
– We cannot sit and watch the authorities allow an unlawful culling of one of our most endangered carnivores. That is why we have sent a subpoena to the Oslo District court. To sue the state is a serious step, which could also entail a substantial economic risk to us, but the culling has started and we cannot wait for more wolves to be killed, said Lomelde.
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Five wolves already shot
Norwegian carnivore authorities have decided that a total of 50 wolves can be culled this winter. This equals about 90 percent of the wolves that permanently reside in Norway. These 50 wolves live both inside and outside of the politically established wolf zone. Initially it is the wolves outside the zone that can be culled. This culling started October 1 – so far six wolves have been shot. Whether wolves living inside the zone can be culled is an issue to be decided by the Department of Climate and Environment before the end of this year.
– We cannot sit around and wait for the department to decide. The ongoing hunt must be stopped immediately and the whole of the wolf management must be tried before the courts. Every year the same thing happens: the management authorities decide on an extensive culling while WWF and others file complaints. Together with organisations such as Friends of the Earth Norway, NOAH, Foreningen Våre Rovdyr and Sabima we fight the same battle every year. We cannot continue this way, we need a sustainable carnivore management that ensures the long-term survival of the wolf population, said Lomelde.
Breaking news: WWF takes the Norwegian state to court to save the wolves.— WWFVerdens naturfond (@WWFNorge) November 8, 2017
– The culling is against the law and must be stopped before it is too late to save a critically endangered species, said WWF-Norway's @ilomelde. https://t.co/j9vtPtQq5S 🐺 #Verdtåbevare #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 pic.twitter.com/sUZQfe9Tql
The wolf is an important part of the Norwegian biodiversity. It is a top predator, with important functions in the ecosystem. It feeds mainly on moose and roe deer, thus contributing to keeping prey populations in balance with their food base. Additionally, the wolf can impact on populations of medium-sized and smaller predators which in its turn has an effect on ground-nesting birds and other prey species.
The wolf is listed as critically endangered on the Norwegian Red List, due to the small population. The major threats, after the culling by the authorities, are inbreeding and poaching.
Most Norwegians want wolves in Norwegian nature, and we have a moral obligation to ensure viable populations of all species that live here. The presence of wolves in Norwegian nature has great existential value for many, and the wolf makes the nature a bit more wild and exciting.