Wolves in Norway

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Should we save the “killers”? Why save killers? Why save creatures that are designed to kill? Why save animals that threaten sheep stocks? Because they are critically endangered! The wolf population in Norway is very small about ten to fifteen wolves. It is critically endangered and has been reduced by half during the last few years. There is a serious risk of genetic degradation in this population because of its small size. A genetically healthy population should have at least eight hundred individuals. In Norway there are from two hundred fifty to three hundred thousand moose and thirty thousand reindeer. In that case eight hundred wolves should not be too many. There is a reason why there are so few wolves in Norway. The reason is sheep farming which occupies 90% of Norway’s territory. Whereas the “wolf zone” is occupies only 1% of Norway’s territory. Therefore the wolves have a very little land to live safely within. However, the wolves do not know about this “wolf zone”, and can easy wander off their territory and so the farmers can see the wolves going near their area quite a lot. The farmers believe that wolves are killing their sheep. That is true, in some cases the wolves are killing their sheep, but the farmers’ claims go unchallenged! I do not want to say that they are lying, but in fact one wolf during the year can kill about eight sheep. By way of comparison, over forty sheep die each hour during the summer without any interference by the predators. They die from reasons like parasites, poisoned plants, illnesses and injuries. Also farmers are afraid about their own lives too. The press is full of stories of people “lucky to be alive” after encountering wolves. In fact, sudden sounds such as shouting, switching on the radio or sudden movement like waving your arm, will cause the wolf to run away frightened for its life! The last Norwegian to be

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