Russians are taking a robust view of their wolf population. An MP in the Yakutia region, home to 12,000 wolves, is backing a plan to sell helicopter wolf-hunting trips at US$15,000 a time. He told the Siberian Times: “We already have tourists, local and some from abroad, who are willing to pay $10,000 for hunting one wolf. This is like shooting sparrows from a cannon.”
He adds that his scheme would “put an end to the wolf problem.”
Meanwhile, Norway plans to restart recreational hunting of wolves. Around 65 of the animals live in Norway and another 25 regularly cross the border from Sweden.
Last year the government announced up to 47 could be killed by hunters, but that quota was lowered to just 15 two days before hunting season opened. Now the government is set to approve a new amendment in favour of hunters.
There are 430 wolves across the whole of Scandinavia, up from fewer than 10 in the 1990s. They remain under threat from loss of habitat and poachers. Illegal hunting is the largest cause of wolf mortality in the region.
With caribu populations in northern Canada currently going through a slump, locals make the case for wolf hunting to protect stocks. Writing in Nunatsiaq News, a hunting outfitter from Yellowknife called Boyd Warner says: “Last fall, clients for the Bathurst HTO and Umingmatok HTO harvested 12 wolves from the area around Contwoyto Lake, while also harvesting caribou. This wolf harvest occurred in the fall and thus prevented 12 wolves from harvesting caribou all winter (which would have included pregnant female’s yearlings and likely least of all healthy males). Therefore one of the direct benefits of the sport hunt harvest is the saving of 180 to 360 caribou annually.”