In December, WWF-Norway sued the Norwegian state for the second time for making unlawful wolf culling decisions. At the same time the organization asked for a temporary injunction of the wolf hunt. The injunction filed by WWF-Norway in order to stop this winter´s wolf hunt was dismissed by Oslo District Court. WWF has decided to appeal the verdict.
The dismissal means that the hunt continues. A total of 42 wolves can be shot this winter, which is 75 percent of the wolves residing in Norway. The last official numbers of wolves in Norway are from the winter of 2016/2017. It was registered 54-56 wolves that only reside in Norway, and additional 51-56 wolves that live on both sides of the border to Sweden.
So far 21 wolves have been shot, both inside and outside of the wolf zone. – Heartbreaking and totally unacceptable, said Ingrid Lomelde, Policy Director at WWF-Norway.
WWF-Norway will now, together with its lawyers, read the verdict thoroughly and have decided to appeal.
– We also hope that the trial itself will take place as soon as possible so that we can get a judicial decision on whether or not the Norwegian wolf management is according to law or not, said Lomelde.
The wolf is a critically endangered species in Norway, classified as being near the brink of extinction.
– The wolf naturally belongs in Norway. It has, as other large carnivore, an important role to play in our nature. As such it is unbearable that Norway has decided to use the wolf population goal as a maximum limit for how many wolves we should have – seeing that this is keeping the population at a critically endangered level.
WWF is suing the Norwegian state
The organization has sued the Norwegian state, stating that the current wolf management goes against the constitution, the Biodiversity Act and the Bern Convention. A date has not yet been set for the case to be tried at the Oslo District Court.
– Suing the state is demanding in many ways but we feel that we do not have a choice, considering the current Norwegian wolf management. We need a sustainable management that ensures the wolf population in the long-run while at the same time initiating mitigating measures to reduce conflicts between wolves and grazing animals, 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.
10 facts about the Norwegian wolves