More wolves in Germany

Translated from Dutch news agency ANP:

Wolf population doubled in Germany

Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 10.05

The German wolf population is expanding at a rapid pace. Throughout Germany there are now 100 to 120 wolves. That’s double the number of wolves in 2010.

This says Norman Stier, a biologist at the Technical University of Dresden. It is based on recent surveys. Taurus says that wolves in Germany get food fairly easily. “Roe deer, red deer and wild boar, probably there are enough of those.”

3 thoughts on “More wolves in Germany

  1. Cullateral damage: Unintended animals dying from Alberta wolf cull

    By Ed Struzik, Edmonton Journal February 23, 2012

    EDMONTON — Ken Cowles was in his cabin near Grande Cache, Alta., last February when one of his dogs showed up looking very ill.

    Seeing that two of his other dogs were missing, he tracked them down to some poison bait that had been buried under a mound of snow.

    Both dogs were dead, and in the short time that followed, Cowles saw an eagle fall out of the sky and the frozen carcass of a wolf that had ingested strychnine-laced meat placed at the site.

    Cowles didn’t have any doubt about who was responsible. For the past five years, the Alberta government has been poisoning wolves or shooting them from the air in an effort to save the Little Smoky caribou herd, which is in danger of disappearing.

    “Less than a mile from my cabin, you have to wonder what they were thinking. This is a dangerous waste of time and energy killing wolves to save caribou that are more threatened by oil and gas and forestry developments than they are by predators,” Cowles said.

    Dissatisfied with the answers he received, Cowles and a small group of trappers and outfitters who work in the Little Smoky region are fed up. In a letter to Alberta’s Sustainable Resource Development Minister Frank Oberle, they demand an end to the wolf kill.

    “It’s another case of humans trying to control nature and in the process nature loses,” they said in their letter.

    “There are documented cases of eagles and dogs, which became victims of this senseless slaughter. Wolverine and grizzly bears also frequent these areas and, as scavengers, are sure to be eating these poison baits, also. Some of the poisoned animals are left there and when other animals eat them they also die.”

    Until now, opposition to the Alberta wolf-control program has been largely confined to environmentalists and scientists who consider the practice to be unethical and a waste of time and money, especially if caribou habitat isn’t restored.

    But now that trappers and outfitters are questioning the practice, both levels of government may have a difficult time expanding the wolf control program, which federal Environment Minister Peter Kent acknowledged was a possibility when his department last August released a draft plan for caribou recovery.

    All but one of the 13 caribou herds in Alberta are in decline. According to a recent study, nine of those will end up with fewer than 10 animals in the next 35 years if conservation measures aren’t soon taken.

    “Very few people are aware that a portion of their tax dollars are going to kill off wolves and many other species of wildlife,” outfitter Randy Tellier said.

    “Why are they doing this? Their excuse for this slaughter is to protect the woodland caribou. Why are the caribou numbers so low in the first place? It is because of humans destroying the habitat. The real enemy of caribou are not wolves, it’s industrial development.”

    Alberta Sustainable Resource Development spokesman Dave Ealey said it is “extremely unfortunate” that Cowles lost his dogs that way and said efforts are underway to make sure something like that won’t happen again. Though the poisoning of wolves will be kept to a minimum, the cull will continue, he said.

    “Since the department started managing wolves in this area five years ago, the Little Smoky caribou herd has stabilized,” he said. “It is working in the way biologists hoped it would.”

    While there is no immediate plan to expand the wolf cull to stop the decline of caribou in other regions, Ealey acknowledged it is a management option.

    Tellier said he and his colleagues are not trying to stop industrial development. What they want is the government to live up to a commitment they say was made several years ago to limit development in the Little Smoky area.

    Edmonton Journal
    © Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal


  2. Pingback: ‘Big bad wolf’ is a myth | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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