January 3, 2010

Sweden Begins Wolf Cull

Sweden launched its first wolf cull in 45 years, following a decision by parliament to control the species' numbers, according to a recent BBC report.

The Swedish parliament recently decided there should be at most 210 wolves in Sweden. Since last year, over 20 pairs of wolves have given birth to pups.

Over 10,000 hunters have until the 15th of February to complete the cull and more than half the quota of 27 may have been killed on the first day alone.

Hunting in the county of Dalarna was halted as the county's individual quota was nine wolves.

It was reported later on in the day that the county of Varmland may have also hit it's quota of nine.

Every time a wolf is hit, the county authorities have to be contacted in order to keep track of the cull.

Gunnar Gloersson, of the Swedish Hunters Association, says, "There's a lot of regulation, hunters have to check the quota every hour."

The hunt is timed to end before the mating season, which begins in mid-February.

The success of the cull of course will depend on the weather. Snow is playing a big part in the hunt.

"The only easy way to hunt wolves is if we have snow, so the hunters can track them on the snow. If we don't have snow I don't think we'll even be able to reach the quota of 27 wolves," said Mr. Gloersson, of the hunting association.