Is the Swedish wolf hunt illegal?

Well, not illegal exactly, but contrary to EU law. I don't know, but we'll know later, because it's been reported to EU as being against the conservation of endangered animals regulations.

Should it be illegal?
I can agree some parts of it don't seem very well thought out, but the wolf isn't endangered globally just because there's only about 200 in Sweden. Recapitulation: Not very long ago, in the 1960s when it was protected from hunting, the wolf was practically extinct in Sweden, with usually around 4-8 wolves estimated and by 1980 there were zero left. This was, at least in some part, due to it being hunted illegally for real (as in against Swedish law and this was before we were a EU member). Later in the 1980s some Norwegian wolves immigrated to Sweden and those living here now are (almost?) all decended from three individuals.  So in my opinion, it can't be wrong to hunt a few wolves in Sweden.

The question is: Should it be done like it is done now? It's determined in which districts it can be hunted and a total number of shot animals is set. This year hunting teams could be updated hourly to lessen the risk of shooting more than the assigned number.

The real motivation for allowing wolf hunting is probably to get hunters' acceptance of there being wolves in our forests. They aren't supposed to be where there are reindeer. A second motivation is to increase genetic variation by making room for new wolves. That also sound just fine, but in that case you should rather point out which wolves should be taken out which probably is possible. One of the shot ones this year was one of those fitted with a transmitter for research purposes and scientists have a pretty good idea of the family relationships among the wolf population.

One way to get new wolves is of course to let them immigrate over the Finnish-Swedish border in the north. Has happened already. But now, the government says that one plan might be to put out wolf pups from zoos among the wild litters. The zoos don't seem to think this is a good idea for two reasons: The zoo wolves aren't the very best from a genetic standpoint and by doing so it might seem like they are supporting wolf hunting. And there's a third reason: Zoo wolves get their cubs later, so they'd be younger than the other in the wild litter they're placed into.

Another is to import wild wolves. This is a bit of a problem as Sweden is rabies free and wild wolves are very seldom vaccinated, so they'd have to be put in quarantine and that's not easy to arrange.

I'm not against wolves in our forests. Some, or maybe many, hunters are. Perhaps because wolves eat what hunters like to hunt. Not that I think 200-220 which is the political goal makes much of a dent into the other wildlife, in total, but they might locally. The second reason is that wolves do kill hunting dogs. Fewer than die in traffic accidents and at least not a lot more than are shot by mistake. But we're humans, and we don't like risks we can't control. Also there's no question the do and will kill sheep. Partly because we aren't used to wolves, as opposed to other European countries with 10 times as many wolves as in Sweden.

But also there's no doubt there's zero ecological need for wolves as we managed fine without them.

And actually: The Swedish nature is in practice not really wild. It's hard to see from the ground, but when you fly at low altitude it's very clear that there are lots of trees, but not forests. It's actually pine or spruce plantations, but they're planted irregularily and not on nice flat ground (like Christmas spruces in Denmark). From the air, you can easily see that all trees in one section are the same height. And apart from the high mountains, there's no spot on land which is more than 5 km from a road, most of these roads being logging roads.

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