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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 23.10.2018, 06:31

Farmers in Saaremaa want the island to become wolf-free

Juhan Tere, BC, Tallinn, 13.09.2011.Print version
Wolves have killed many sheep in Estonia’s largest island Saaremaa in 2011 and the local farmers’ union wants now a permit to get all the wolves in the island killed, LETA/Postimees writes.

Over the past three months, wolves have killed 70 and injured 31 sheep in Saaremaa. “We do not see a small island in the Baltic Sea being a place where wolves as a species should be preserved, to keep its numbers preserved,” said Saaremaa Farmers Union board member Aivar Kallas. “Wolves do not belong in an area with such density of population as Saaremaa. This species can be preserved somewhere else,” he said.


Islands’ Hunters Society board member Andrus Sepp says that such major interference in nature is not right. “There is no point in blaming the nature around being the way it is,” he said.


While earlier it was known that there were 3 wolves in Saaremaa, this year there are certainly more, Sepp said. Due to the killings this year, the hunters already have a permit to kill one wolf although the hunting season starts only in November.


Sepp said that it is also possible that some of the sheep-killings wolves are blamed for, can be the work of stray dogs.


“The idea of wolf-free Saaremaa is not practically possible with such a smart and well spreading species,” said Environment Board nature protection biologist Tõnu Talvi. “It also doesn’t fit modern European and Estonian nature protection principles.”


The optimal number of wolves in Estonia is around 100-200 and that is how much there are of them.

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