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Dec 22, 2016 15:51

Hunting quota of 53 individuals for wolves outside the reindeer herding area

A decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry sets the annual hunting quota for wolves outside the reindeer herding area at 43 individuals for the hunting years 2016-2018. From the draft circulated for comment the quota was increased by 13 individuals because of the revised population estimates by the Natural Resources Institute Finland.

There are an estimated 200-248 wolves living outside the reindeer herding area. If the number of wolves allowed by the quota were killed, the population would decrease by no more than 21-26%. It should be noted that the maximum allowable number to be hunted is not a target but the upper limit for derogations to be granted by the Finnish Wildlife Agency.

The decree enters into force on 28 December 2016. Hunting under the derogations may start immediately after the derogation has been granted. This enables better monitoring of the impact of the derogations granted on the wolf population and of the numbers of alpha females killed and taking these into account in the subsequent decisions.

Wolves killed under derogations to prevent damages, by police order, in traffic, or in illegal hunting outside the reindeer herding area will also be included in the quota. In granting the derogations the use of the quota would also depend on the types of individuals killed so far. In particular, the Finnish Wildlife Agency will follow the numbers of alpha females killed.

In support of decision-making there are territorial committees and, in some areas, advisory boards on large carnivores that will assess the need to apply for the derogations. The decree applies to two hunting years, but the ministry is preparing to issue a new decree in December 2017, based on the interim estimates by the Natural Resources Institute Finland concerning the situation next autumn.

According to the wolf population estimates for 2016 published on 8 December, the number of wolf packs in Finland was 32 to 38, 21 to 27 of these having their territory within the Finnish borders. The number of packs outside the reindeer herding area was 31 to 37, of which 20 to 26 had their territories within the Finnish borders. Compared to the estimate by the Natural Resources Institute Finland in December 2015 there has been no significant change in the total number of packs in Finland. The final estimate of the size of the population will be completed at the end of the hunting season in March 2017.

Inquiries at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry:
Jussi Laanikari, Senior Officer,, tel. +358 295 162 432
Sami Niemi, Ministerial Adviser,, tel. +358 295 162 391

Information on large carnivores in Nordic countries

SKANDULV - wolf research in Scandinavia. SKANDULV is working on issues connected with wolf ecology and administration. The main questions concern wolf populations, movement patterns, genetics, ecosystem effects etc.