Note: Find an email to send to involved officials, regarding the Norwegian wolf policy, at the bottom of this post (after the tweetsheet), with a link for sending, please speak up.
The Ministry of Climate and Environment has allowed for the slaughter of the entire Letjenna pack within the wolf zone in Hedmark despite the fact that these six wolves did not pose a risk of injury. Letjenna was an established pack that had done no harm to livestock, nor did they pose a threat to humans.
On January 1st, 2020, four wolves from the Letjenna pack, officially listed as a critically endangered, and a protected species in Norway, were all shot to death on New Year’s Day. The wolves, an alpha pair and 2 pups of the year, were killed by hunters as soon as they received controversial permission to exterminate a wolf family even though they were living in a zone designated for them.
In the snow-covered forests of Hedmark (now part of the new fylke known as Innlandet), the four wolves were shot to death on New Year’s morning in the space of two hours. 180 men descended on the innocent wolf family.
“We are very satisfied that two months of preparations yielded such quick results,” said the leader of the authoritzed hunt, Arne Sveen.
Norway’s conservative government coalition had approved the hunt, while rejecting requests to hunt down two other wolf packs east of Oslo.
Proponents of the hunt offered unsubstantiated claims that the wolves were threatening local residents, and/or livestock operators. They also claimed that the wolves were threatening the annual moose hunt that provides fee income to local landowners. For these claims, innocent animals, living in an area designated for them, were slaughtered.
World Wildlife Fund-Norway believes Norwegian wolf management is illegal and has sued the state. Judgment in the case is expected from the Court of Appeal at the end of January 2020.
“This decision clearly shows how important it is to get a legal review of how we manage critical endangered species in Norway, such as the wolf.”
While Norway shoots wolves every winter, Sweden has stopped the licensed hunt for the second year in a row due to a dangerously low Scandanavian wolf population. One reason for this is precisely the Norwegian hunt. More on that topic here.
The 2018-2019 survey indicated that there are approximately 380 wolves in Scandinavia. Of those 380 just 64-66 are/were considered Norwegian. A total of 40 family groups and 28 breeding pairs were registered in 2019, prior to this years hunt, and prior to the aerial gunning of 2 wolves. Add to that, earlier in December/2019, police in eastern Norway confirmed that a dead wolf, found floating in a lake in the small community of Åsnes in Hedmark, was poisoned. Wolves were found poisoned earlier this year in the same area, and police are calling the incidents “extremely serious.” Investigators also found bait laced with the poisonous chemicals contained in antifreeze liquids. The wolf found dead in the lake contained the same chemicals.
Just 64–66 wolves were classified as entirely Norwegian (living predominantly within Norway’s border). 40–41 wolves were registered on both sides of the border with Sweden, mainly in border crossings, but also a few on migration. In total, just 104–107 wolves live within or partially reside in Norway. Read the full update here.
Also On January 1st, 2020, a polar bear, officially listed as protected species in Norway, was shot.The polar bear, which had been wandering in and near Longyearbyen for about a week, had resisted several attempts to chase it out of town. Local authorities had tried helicopters and other means, but the hungry bear kept returning, apparently in search of food.
Svalbard Governor Kjerstin Askholt cited a lack of staffing during the holiday period with enough competence to drug the bear and transport it out of the area. The seven-year-old male bear was thus shot as it presented a danger to the people of Longyearbyen.
Please speak up for the critically endangered wolves that call Norway home; below you will find a tweetsheet, and after that a sample email for you to send. Thankyou.
All tweets are automated and can be sent by tapping “SaveOurWolves” at the end of each tweet. For ease of tweeting, please open this page on your browser and close your twitter window. If you are experiencing trouble sending tweets, then open the page on Twitter and send your tweets from there. Thanks very much for your help.
Letjenna pack tweets:
1. To kill an innocent wolf family, the #LetjennaPack, to appease the unsubstantiated claims, ignorance, and unfounded fears of several individuals is beyond abhorrent! @olaelvestuen #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #verdtåbevare #LaUlvenLeve SaveOurWolves
2. To kill an innocent wolf family, the #LetjennaPack, that have caused no harm, living in an area designed for their protection is beyond the pale! @olaelvestuen Shame on #Norway #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #endangeredspecies pic.twitter.com/eKrKoCARuR SaveOurWolves
3. The suffering of the surviving pups of the #LetjennaPack, who looked on as their famiy was destroyed, and then left to fend for themselves, must be immense! Shame on #Norway @olaelvestuen #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 SaveOurWolves
4. No one should have the power to intentionally extirpate any species from the landscape.
To have the authority to exterminate 50% of a critically #endangeredspecies, and to do so, is scandalous @olaelvestuen #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #Verdtåbevare
5. Should the seasons quota be filled (26 wolves outside the wolf zone, and up to 6 within the wolf zone, this will leave possibly less than 30 of Norway’s wolves, when including the 2 wolves gunned down via helicopter in November @olaelvestuen #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #LetjennaPack SaveOurWolves
6. As poaching makes up 40-60% of mortality for Scandinavian carnivores, with poaching levels higher in Norway, the loss of all resident Norwegian wolves by years end, when deaths from illness/disease are factored in, is probable. @olaelvestuen. #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #LetjennaPack SaveOurWolves
7. Killing an innocent wolf family “to reduce the level of conflict and increase confidence in the predators committee” certainly cannot be considered a valid rationale for killing animals that have not proven to be a threat to human or livestock @olaelvestuen #LetjennaPack SaveOurWolves
8. “Fear and discomfort” because wolves are nearby in no way justifies killing innocent and critically endangered wolves, nor will it “reduce the level of conflict.” @olaelvestuen #LetjennaPack #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 SaveOurWolves
9. Please revoke the license for removal of the 2 remaining #LetjennaPack pups. Innocent animals from a family of critically endangered wolves that have caused no harm! #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 pic.twitter.com/Tpd0zcBJ2t SaveOurWolves
10. Clearly the predators committee’s decisions lack moral compass with regards to wolves. Decisions based on fear and hatred would also have killed 11 more innocent wolves, the Mangen & Rømsko packs! Stopp utrydningspolitikken nå @olaelvestuen #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #LetjennaPack SaveOurWolves
General/wolf policy tweets:
1a. Please sign these two petitions for Norway’s #wolves:
1. Stop the killing of the Norwegian wolves: bit.ly/NorwayWolves 2. Shut down the predatory game in Norway: bit.ly/La-Ulven-Leve
Stopp utrydningspolitikken nå!
#SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #verdtåbevare #LetjennaPack SaveOurWolves
Stopp utrydningspolitikken nå!
Please help raise awareness by sending off these tweets for Norway’s #wolves: Tweet for Norway’s Wolves SaveOurWolves
2. Beslutningen om å drepe 50% Norges ulver kan ikke være i samsvar med Bernkonvensjonen, lovforslag og forskrifter Predators #SaveOurWolves #verdtåbevare @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen @NorwayUS @NorwayMFA @NorwayUN pic.twitter.com/SFsbOEJg8K SaveOurWolves
3. It is especially disconcerting to understand any reasoning behind killing wolf packs that are established within the wolf zone and that have caused no harm @olaelvestuen
4. What will become of the wolf registered as “genetically valuable” moved by helicopter from an area in northern Hedmark to an area where a total of 12 wolves will be shot in region 5! #SaveOurWolves #verdtåbevare #LetjennaPack @olaelvestuen SaveOurWolves
5. Den ulvebestanden er allerede svært liten og kritisk truet. For å utrydde 50% av slike sårbare arter er sjokkerende. #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #verdtåbevare @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen Shame on #Norway pic.twitter.com/D90cio7arv SaveOurWolves
6. #Norway Grønne og humanitære prinsipper fornedret med foreslåtte cull av 26 kritisk truede #wolves #Verdtåbevare! #SaveOurWolves @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen La ulven leve! pic.twitter.com/SFsbOEJg8K SaveOurWolves
7. In the last four years, the Scandinavian wolf population has dropped dramatically, from around 440 to around 370 animals. #SaveOurWolves #verdtåbevare @olaelvestuen SaveOurWolves
8. Norway’s licensed slaughter of critically endangered wolves outside the wolf zone started on December 1st and will continue until May 31st. Shame on #Norway @olaelvestuen #SaveOurWolves #verdtåbevare #endangeredspecies SaveOurWolves
9. The situation 4 #wolves in Norway is grim. Just 5% of the country is designated a “wolf zone,” in which the animals are/were “allowed” to exist. #Norway shamefully culls wolves to strikingly low levels. #verdtåbevare #SaveOurWolves pic.twitter.com/AuVhKSaqub SaveOurWolves
10. #Norge har et nasjonalt og internasjonalt ansvar for å ha en levedyktig bestand av ulv. #SaveOurWolves #Verdtåbevare
11. Virkeligheten er at ulvene er ansvarlige for omtrent 1.5% av det totale estimerte tapet av sauer i #Norge @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #verdtåbevare
La #ulven leve! Stopp utrydningspolitikken
12. Ulven er en berikelse for mange nordmenn som setter pris på å være i stand til å oppleve naturen i sin fulle kompleksitet #SaveOurWolves
13. Det virker som norske bønder har en vendetta mot ulver som ikke er forankret i virkeligheten, men snarere frykt og hat! #SaveOurWolves
14. Den ulvebestanden er allerede svært liten og kritisk truet. For å utrydde 50% av slike sårbare arter er sjokkerende. #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #verdtåbevare @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen Shame on #Norway pic.twitter.com/D90cio7arv SaveOurWolves
15. #Norway Grønne og humanitære prinsipper fornedret med foreslåtte cull av 26 kritisk truede #wolves #Verdtåbevare! #SaveOurWolves @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen La ulven leve! pic.twitter.com/SFsbOEJg8K SaveOurWolves
16. Norwegian officials approved killing 26 critically #endangered #wolves, 50% of the population. This will seal their fate: #extinction thru inbreeding #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #Verdtåbevare Shame on #Norway @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen pic.twitter.com/QjnaMzZt2U SaveOurWolves
17. Norway’s green & humanitarian principles debased with allowing the cull of 26 critically endangered #wolves Shame on #Norway #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #verdtåbevare! La ulven leve! @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen pic.twitter.com/NeyCFbgBzw SaveOurWolves
18. Shamefully, Norway is exterminating 50% of the the tiny wolf population whose territories are entirely in #Norway – a move that will be disastrous for the dwindling members of the species in the wild. #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #verdtåbevare @erna_solberg pic.twitter.com/iSK2Aj82y9 SaveOurWolves
19. Skamfullt, utrydder Norge 50% av den lille ulvspopulasjonen, hvis territorier helt er i #Norge – et trekk som vil være katastrofalt for de svindende medlemmene av arten i naturen. #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #Verdtåbevare @olaelvestuen @erna_solberg pic.twitter.com/iSK2Aj82y9 SaveOurWolves
21. A large majority of Norwegians, in both urban and rural areas, want to keep #wolves at healthy populations @olaelvestuen La ulven leve! #Verdtåbevare #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 pic.twitter.com/q10ZNr6ZMV
22. Et stort flertall av nordmenn, i både urbane og landlige områder, ønsker å holde #wolves hos friske befolkninger @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen La ulven leve! #Verdtåbevare #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 pic.twitter.com/iSK2Aj82y9
25. The extermination of 50% of Norway’s resident #wolf population is indicative of the brutal treatment predators receive in this country @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen La ulven leve! #verdtåbevare #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 pic.twitter.com/drXqEmnvI1 SaveOurWolves
26. Utryddelsen av 50% av Norges bosatt ulvspopulasjon er en indikasjon på den brutale behandlingen som rovdyr mottar i dette landet @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen La ulven leve! #verdtåbevare #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 pic.twitter.com/drXqEmnvI1 SaveOurWolves
27. Wolves have intrinsic value. Join us, @olaelvestuen be a voice for the #wolves #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #Kindness #Compassion La ulven leve! Stopp utrydningspolitikken pic.twitter.com/Sp25GKOEwz
28. Ulven er oppført som “kritisk truet” på den norske røde listen for arter 2015. ulvene er de minste tallrike av alle norske pattedyr, og som sådan er pattedyrsarten mest truet av utryddelse i norge som fortjener beskyttelse, ikke utryddelse #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 @olaelvestuen
29. Ulven er oppført som “kritisk truet” på den norske røde listen for arter 2015. ulvene er de minste tallrike av alle norske pattedyr, og som sådan er pattedyrsarten mest truet av utryddelse i norge som fortjener beskyttelse, ikke utryddelse #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 @erna_solberg
30. The wolf is an enrichment for many Norwegians who appreciate being able to experience nature in its full complexity @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen @NorwayMFA #verdtåbevare #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 Stopp utrydningspolitikken. La ulven leve! pic.twitter.com/1PfnISwf25
31. Ulven er en berikelse for mange nordmenn som setter pris på å kunne oppleve naturen i sin komplekse kompleksitet @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen @NorwayMFA #verdtåbevare #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 Stopp utrydningspolitikken. La ulven leve! pic.twitter.com/1PfnISwf25
32. The hunt and slaughter of the #LetjennaPack is completely reprehensible, @olaelvestuen Shame on #Norway @erna_solberg #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #verdtåbevare Stopp utrydningspolitikken nå @Venstre SaveOurWolves
Please send tweets 33, 34 and 35 together or thread:
33. 1/ @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen Numerous studies on.nrdc.org/2DrRvJM of black bears, mountain lions, and wolves have shown that predation of livestock actually *increases* after a predator cull. #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #verdtåbevare SaveOurWolves
34. 2/ What’s more, @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B found that institutionalized culls can trigger more poaching of that species. Stopp utrydningspolitikken. La ulven leve! #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 pic.twitter.com/3ZlLTF3EUV SaveOurWolves
35. 3/When a government sanctions killing a protected species, the perceived value of each individual of that species may decline; liberalizing wolf culling may send a negative message about the value of wolves/acceptability of poaching: bit.ly/24LtfqF #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 SaveOurWolves
36. Norway’s #Wolf Policy and the Bern Convention on #Wildlife: Avoiding the “Manifestly Absurd” @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen bit.ly/2mHEepx #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 #verdtåbevare La ulven leve. Stopp utrydningspolitikken! SaveOurWolves
37. When #Norway ratified the Bern Convention in 1986 it did not avail itself of the opportunity to file a reservation with regard to #wolves @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen #verdtåbevare #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 La ulven leve. Stopp utrydningspolitikken! pic.twitter.com/xhfYUPwCET SaveOurWolves
38. As the wolf is listed as a “strictly protected fauna species” in Appendix II of the Convention, #Norway is under an obligation, inter alia, to prohibit any killing of #wolves #SaveOurWolves #verdtåbevare pic.twitter.com/csgLdJEFFx SaveOurWolves
39. #Norway is under an obligation as stipulated in Article 9 of the Convention, that the culling of #wolves “will not be detrimental to the survival of the population concerned.” #SaveOurWolves @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen pic.twitter.com/xhfYUPwCET SaveOurWolves
40. Other relevant provisions of the Bern Convention require Norway, inter alia, to ensure a certain #wolf population level, protect wolf habitat, and outlaw particular means of killing @erna_solberg @olaelvestuen #SaveOurWolves pic.twitter.com/RHyvpcXlDJ SaveOurWolves
41. Article 2 of the Bern Convention: “The Contracting Parties shall take requisite measures to maintain wild flora and fauna at, or adapt it to, a level which corresponds in particular to ecological, scientific and cultural requirements.” @erna_solberg #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 SaveOurWolves
42. Article 2 of the Bern Convention: “The Contracting Parties shall take requisite measures to maintain wild flora and fauna at, or adapt it to, a level which corresponds in particular to ecological, scientific and cultural requirements.” @olaelvestuen #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 SaveOurWolves
43a. In a world with so few #wolves, perhaps a better guide to the risk they pose is a scientific study in which humans approached wolves 125 times in Scandinavia. Researchers found no occasions of aggressive behaviour. #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 @erna_solberg https://t.co/XzDXJ1Syr6 SaveOurWolves
43b. In a world with so few #wolves, perhaps a better guide to the risk they pose is a scientific study in which humans approached wolves 125 times in Scandinavia. Researchers found no occasions of aggressive behaviour. #SaveOurWolves🇳🇴 @olaelvestuen https://t.co/XzDXJ1Syr6 SaveOurWolves
44. #Ulvejakt without ethical anchorage @olaelvestuen @erna_solberg
Below please find a sample email, please copy for sending to involved officials. Your letter will be sent to Ola Elvestuen, Minister of Climate and Environment, Marie Eriksen Søreide, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and to Prime Minister Solberg. The link for sending your email can be found at the end of this letter. Please be sure to sign your name before sending. Feel free to personalize.
Dear Prime Minister Solberg, Honourable Elvestuen, and Honourable Søreide,
The last official count in 2019, indicated that there are approximately 380 wolves in Scandinavia. Of those 380 just 64-66 are considered Norwegian (residing full time in Norway).This year, the government sanctioned hunt of 26 individuals, or 50% of wolves living year round in Norway will push the population to the brink of complete extirpation.
As the wolf population is red listed, classified as critically endangered, I find this move to eradicate over 50% of Norway’s resident wolves appalling. The Norwegian government is acting against international obligations under the Bern Convention, as well as breaching Norwegian law and decisions made by parliament. Wolves, highly social, family oriented, intelligent non-human animals are slaughtered like “vermin” yearly to levels which can easily lead to the complete extermination of Norwegian wolves.
What is most startling is that the Letjenna pack suffered and died for no “valid” reason, as they caused no harm. The suffering of the surviving pups who looked on as their family was destroyed, and then left to fend for themselves, must be immense. For great shame on Norway’s inability to welcome this predator back into its rightful place in nature.
Should the seasons quota for wolves be filled (26 wolves outside the wolf zone, and up to 6 within the wolf zone, this will leave possibly less than 30 individuals (full time resident wolves) when including the 2 wolves gunned down via helicopter in November, and wolves found poisoned near Hedmark. Shocking. While poaching makes up 40-60 percent of mortality for all Scandinavian carnivores, with poaching levels higher in Norway than in Sweden, one could easily imagine the loss of all resident Norwegian wolves by years end when deaths from illnesses and disease are factored in.
When Norway ratified the Bern Convention in 1986, it did not avail itself of the opportunity to file a reservation with regard to wolves. As the wolf is listed as a “strictly protected” fauna species in Appendix II of the Convention, Norway is under obligation to prohibit any killing of wolves, and to allow exceptions to this prohibition only when all of the three conditions stipulated in Article 9 of the Convention are met. That is, the killing of one or more wolves may be authorized only when:
1. This serves one of the purposes enumerated in Article 9 – including “to prevent serious damage to livestock, the interest of public safety,” and “other overriding public interests.”
2. “There is no other satisfactory solution” to achieve the purpose in question.
3. The killing “will not be detrimental to the survival of the population concerned.”
Which brings us back to the the licensed culling of the Letjenna pack which are now extinguished, minus two pups (at this time), which caused no harm.
Killing an innocent wolf family “to reduce the level of conflict and increase confidence in the predators management committee” certainly cannot be considered a valid rationale for killing animals that have not proven to be a threat to human or livestock.
In a statement from the Ministry, it was mentioned that “the level of conflict related to the wolf population in Norway has been considerable for some years. It is an important national interest to reduce this and to help build confidence in the management of predatory wildlife.” I am sure we can all agree with the idea of reducing tensions related to wolf populations, however, killing members of this protected species will drive tensions higher.
The Ministry also believes that there are no satisfactory solutions other than the licensed removal of wolves, yet a study (bit.ly/24LtfqF) published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B found that institutionalized culls can trigger more poaching of that species; when a government sanctions killing a protected species, the perceived value of each individual of that species may decline. In other words, liberalized wolf culling likely sends a negative message about the value of wolves, and the acceptability of poaching. Norway already has an extremely high rate of poaching.
The formulation of Article II also indicates that “conservation interests will outweigh economic and recreational interests in case of conflict” (Bowman et al., Supra note 7).
Sadly, Norway’s wolf policy has been characterized by precisely formulated wolf population targets that are strikingly low given Norway’s size, abundance of suitable habitat, and low human population density; scientists assert that Norway could easily support a population of 2,000 wolves.
“Miljøvern” a forgotten concept with regard to wolves, and, indeed, other carnivores who call Norway home.
Because of the great losses of wolf families, and the cruel, yearly removal of a large percentage of this iconic species from your forests, my family and I will no longer be vacationing in your country, and support a complete boycott of Norway.
Rewild your heart, welcome the wolf back to its rightful place in your vast wildernesses; when you do, perhaps we will return.
Your name here.
Take a moment to vote, what do you think of the Ministries decision to cull large percentages of Norway’s critically endangered wolf population:
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