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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape

challenges and solutions

15 September 2015 European Parliament Brussels 1


The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

With the support of


The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape Session of the Intergroup Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside

BIODIVERSITY, HUNTING, COUNTRYSIDE BIODIVERSITÉ, CHASSE, ACTIVITÉS RURALES BIODIVERSITÄT, JAGD, LÄNDLICHE AKTIVITÄTEN

15 September 2015 European Parliament – Brussels

Agenda, abstracts and working documents published by

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

Contents Agenda................................................................................................................................................5 Foreword by MEP Karl-Heinz FLORENZ................................................................................6 Foreword by MEP Bendt BENDTSEN.......................................................................................8 Introduction.......................................................................................................................................9 Statement by the European Commission.........................................................................10 Abstracts by: Helmut DAMMANN-TAMKE.............................................................................................12 Julien ALLEAU and Patrick DEGEORGES....................................................................16 Dr. Eick VON RUSCHKOWSKI............................................................................................18 Emmanuel COSTE.................................................................................................................22 Jozef DOCZY...........................................................................................................................24 Sami NIEMI...............................................................................................................................26 The Return of the Wolf to Germany Position Paper of the German Hunters’ Association......................................................28 Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management position statement...............................................................32

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

Agenda 15 September 2015; Room PHS 7C 050 European Parliament – Brussels; 11:30 AM to 14:00 PM 1. Welcome MEP Karl-Heinz FLORENZ, President of the Intergroup Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside 2. Introduction MEP Bendt BENDTSEN, Chair of the meeting 3. Presentations Panel 1  Helmut DAMMANN-TAMKE, President of the Hunters’ Association of Lower Saxony, Germany  Julien ALLEAU, Centre de Recherche d’Histoire Quantitative, France  Dr. Eick VON RUSCHKOWSKI, Head of Nature Conservation and Environmental Policy, Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU). Panel 2  Emmanuel COSTE, Chairman of the Working Party on Sheep, COPA-COGECA  Jozef DOCZY, Director of the Department of Forestry and Hunting, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic  Sami NIEMI, Ministerial Adviser at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland 4. Statement by the European Commission  Stefan LEINER, Head of the Biodiversity Unit, Acting Director for Natural Capital, DG Environment, European Commission 5. Discussion 6. Conclusions and Closing remarks

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

Foreword - Vorwort by MEP Karl-Heinz Florenz

Dear participants of the conference ˝The return of the Wolf to the European Landscape: challenges and solutions”, The wolf is back! Around 10.000 wolves are currently living in the European Union´s landscapes, this number showing an upward trend. Extinct or close to extinction in large areas of Europe since the 19th century, strictly protected under national, European (Habitats Directive) and international law, and currently making such a successful comeback, that a simple “Welcome, wolf!” is no longer an adequate reaction to this development. So here is where the “challenges” begin. In now 26 years of being a Member of the European Parliament, I definitely found myself in the middle of highly ferocious, emotionally heated-up discussions more than one time. However, it still surprised me, that the successful return of a species, which once was native in these areas, would cause such an outrageous war of opinions. The wolf seems to have become a symbol for the general question and contrary conceptions on how humans should treat nature and how our economic and social interests should be put in relation to the objectives of nature and species conservation. The Intergroup Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside does in no way claim to be able to deliver ad-hoc a “satisfies everyone”- answer to these questions. But in its role as a platform for a functional and knowledgebased exchange between experts, stakeholder and political decision-makers on a European level, the Intergroup can enlighten the situation, close some knowledge gaps and develop constructive solution concepts, if necessary with legislative impacts. With all this in mind, I hope you will enjoy the reading of this booklet.

MEP Karl-Heinz Florenz President of the Intergroup Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

Sehr geehrte Teilnehmer der Konferenz „The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape: Challenges and Solutions”, Der Wolf ist zurück! Circa 10.000 Wölfe in freier Wildbahn, Tendenz steigend, gibt es derzeit in der Europäischen Union. Seit dem 19. Jahrhundert in weiten Teilen Europas so gut wie bzw. vollends ausgestorben, durch nationales, europäisches (Flora-Fauna-Habitat-Richtlinie) und internationales Recht streng geschützt und nun seit einigen Jahren auf einem so erfolgreichen Vormarsch, dass ein bedingsloses „Willkommen Wolf!“ als Antwort auf diese Entwicklung nicht mehr ausreicht. Und genau da fangen die „Herausforderungen“ an. In meinen nun 26 Jahren als EU-Abgeordneter habe ich mich durchaus des Öfteren in Debatten und Diskussionen wiedergefunden, deren Beschreibung mit „hitzig“ stark untertrieben wäre. Dass die erfolgreiche Wiederansiedlung einer einst heimischen Tierart jedoch zu etwas führt, was man fast als Glaubenskrieg bezeichnen kann, hat mich dann doch erstaunt. Der Wolf scheint zur Projektionsfläche geworden zu sein für die teils konträren Vorstellungen darüber, wie der Mensch mit der Natur umzugehen hat und in welchem Verhältnis die wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Interessen der Menschen zu den Zielen des Natur- und Artenschutzes stehen sollten. Die Intergruppe Biodiversität, Jagd und ländliche Aktivitäten hat in dieser Frage sicherlich nicht den Anspruch, ad-hoc eine für alle Beteiligten zufriedenstellende Antwort zu liefern. Als Plattform für einen sachlichen und auf Fachwissen basierenden Austausch zwischen Experten, Betroffenen und politischen Entscheidungsträgern auf europäischer Ebene kann sie aber einen Beitrag zum besseren Verständnis der Situation leisten, Wissenslücken schließen und konstruktive Lösungskonzepte, gegebenenfalls mit gesetzgeberischer Wirkung, entwickeln. In diesem Sinne wünsche ich Ihnen einen interessante Lektüre. MdEP Karl-Heinz Florenz Präsident der Intergruppe Biodiversität, Jagd, ländliche Aktivitäten

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

Foreword

by MEP Bendt Bendtsen I do not want to cry “Wolf!� but the fact is that the wolf is back. In the country where I am from, wolves have for centuries not been part of our wildlife, but have now in small numbers re-entered. Estimates show there are about 10.000 wild wolves in Europe. In this context, the 12 wolves that were registered in Denmark in the second half of 2014 is a small number. Yet it should not be taken lightly - they cause alarm and concern. In the centuries since the wolves have last been here, Denmark has changed, and the wolves do not necessarily fit in a modern society with some densely populated areas. The growing wolf population and its geographical spread is new in Europe. As a policy-maker, it is my belief that the wolves must be monitored so we have fact-based grounds upon which to make our decisions. I believe the population should be regulated on a pan-European level, and as a Member of the European Parliament, I am of the opinion the Habitats Directive should be reviewed to allow a better regulation of the wolf population. I wish you an interesting read, but not least an interesting conference.

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

Introduction The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape: Challenges and Solutions Wolves are making their comeback to the European landscape. While the increase of the European wolf population is certainly a success story due to the good implementation of the Habitats Directive, the presence of this large carnivore raises new challenges in places where it had not been sighted for almost a century and asks for solutions to the growing number of conflicts it is causing. Hailed by some and feared by others wolves are contributing to a heated debate between those whose livelihoods are affected by wolves, those who welcome them and policy makers involved in the governance of their populations. The level of conflict has induced the European Commission to encourage stakeholders to join the EU Platform for the coexistence between people and large carnivores. In spite of this initiative Member States struggle to find wolf management measures that don’t trigger complaints and infringement proceedings. According to the last report under the Habitats Directive the total wolf population in the EU was estimated at around 10.000 individuals (period 2007 to 2012), with most populations having stable or increasing trends. In the same report Favourable Conservations Status was achieved in 58% of individual assessments at Member State level, while 33% were considered ‘Unfavourable-inadequate’, and 9% as ‘Unfavourable-bad’, in relation to trends in population, distribution and habitat status. This change in population status and resulting conflicts has prompted some Member States to call on the Commission to review their legal status under the Habitats Directive. Article 19 of the Habitats Directive makes provision to adapt the legal status of protected species to technical and scientific progress, but has never been applied. The Intergroup Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside seeks to foster a constructive dialogue among key stakeholders in view of better understanding which management methods would reduce the human-wolf conflict. The discussion will seek to find a balance between conservation objectives, local requirements and the need to adopt realistic and where necessary innovative measures taking into account the framework and objectives of the EU Habitats Directive.

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape

The European Commission’s views Stefan Leiner Head of the Biodiversity Unit, Acting Director for Natural Capital, DG Environment, European Commission Stefan Leiner graduated in Forest Sciences in the University of Munich, Germany. Since he joined the European Commission in 1999, he has been dealing with international and EU forest and biodiversity policy issues. He has been the Head of the Nature unit in charge of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives and Natura 2000 and is since 1 September 2015 he is heading the Biodiversity unit which is dealing with the implementation of the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy (including global biodiversity issues, the mapping, valuation and restoration of ecosystem services, green infrastructure and the new EU Regulation on invasive alien species). He is also currently and temporarily acting Director of the Natural Capital Directorate.

The success of EU Nature Directives and other legislation has led to the impressive recovery of a number of threatened species, which has led to some difficult conflicts for a few of them, especially at the local level. Apart from conflicts created by the increase in the populations of geese, otters, beavers and cormorants, probably the most challenging issue is the return of large carnivores into areas where they have been absent for hundreds of years. Among these species the wolf is the one whose return has resulted in the most severe conflicts. The wolf is an integral part of many ecosystems across Europe. However, this indisputable conservation success also raises valid concerns about the risk of injury or damage to the livelihoods of local people, farmers and hunters. The European Commission takes large carnivore conservation very seriously and will do everything in its power to help the Member States resolve such conflicts. It has for example developed a range of guidance documents such as on the population level management of large carnivores.

The Habitats Directive, one of the cornerstones of the EU’s biodiversity strategy to 2020, provides the legal framework for both the conservation and the sustainable management of large carnivore species. In addition to the EU’s Natura 2000 network, for species requiring large spaces to live, such as the wolf, sustainable management also requires that protection extends beyond these protected areas. The derogation provisions of this directive offer flexibility for dealing with conflictual situations. Effective management and conflict resolution need sound and objective scientific underpinning. Scientific clarity about the behaviour, risks, population status, threats and all other related aspects is essential for any informed debate on the matter. There also needs to be a sound basis for dialogue and mutual understanding. Reintegrating wolves into the wider multi-functional European countryside is a very challenging task, with very real conflicts but also workable solutions. It is vital that all stakeholders work together in those areas where wolves come into conflict with the

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

interests of humans, and cooperation with livestock owners and hunters is especially important, as well as with those concerned about conservation issues. This is why we have established a dialogue at European level between stakeholders in order to exchange experiences and to find working solutions to conflicts between large carnivores and humans. In this regard FACE and its members are vital actors for the management of wolf populations by providing expertise and data. The EU Platform on Coexistence between People and Large Carnivores, co-chaired by Mr Thierry de l’Escaille of the European Landowners’ Organization with the Commission, is making progress in this work. After a successful regional workshop in Bulgaria in April, we are looking forward to another interesting one in three weeks’ time in Lapland, Finland. Socio-economic aspects and the Nordic situation will be in the focus of the discussions at this workshop. Another important aspect is the provision of the necessary financial means to achieve the objectives of our nature legislation. The EU has supported a large number of projects related to wolf conservation through its LIFE programme. There are ample possibilities to co-finance for example preventive livestock protection measures through its rural development policy. It is up to the Member States to make full use of these possibilities.

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

Die Rückkehr der Wölfe nach Niedersachsen Nachdem bereits im Jahr 2000 im Osten Deutschlands die erste Reproduktion freilebender Wölfe nachgewiesen werden konnte, siedelte sich in Niedersachsen im Jahr 2011 das erste ortstreue Einzeltier an (LJN, 2013). Bereits ein Jahr später konnte schon der erste Wolfsnachwuchs dokumentiert werden. In den vergangenen vier Jahren stieg der Bestand im Bundesland auf aktuell sieben Rudel, ein welpenloses Paar und zwei Einzeltiere. Es wird ein jährlicher Anstieg des Vorkommens von über 30 % beobachtet. Die ersten etablierten Territorien konnten auf großen militärisch genutzten und für die zivile Bevölkerung nicht zugänglichen Truppenübungsplätzen festgestellt werden. Weitere Territorien sind aber auch auf privaten und teilweise landwirtschaftlich intensiv genutzten Flächen etabliert. Hier zeigt sich, dass Wölfe auch mit der in Niedersachsen vorhandenen Kulturlandschaft gut zu Recht zu kommen scheinen. Straßen, Flüsse und Schienen werden auf Wanderungen gequert und die guten Wildbestände liefern ausreichend Nahrung. So bleiben aber auch Konflikte mit menschlichen Interessen nicht aus. Übergriffe auf Nutztiere und besonders Kontakte zwischen Wölfen und Menschen durch habituierte Einzeltiere schmälern die Akzeptanz für die Rückkehr der Tierart deutlich. Es zeigt sich, dass auffälliges Verhalten von Einzeltieren die sonst eher positive Stimmung zum Wolf zu kippen droht. Im Management großer Beutegreifer wird aber die Akzeptanz der Bevölkerung immer wieder als wichtigster Faktor für eine erfolgreiche Etablierung rückkehrender Arten genannt. Nach Art. 16 der FFH-Richtlinie besteht durchaus die Möglichkeit, mit wissenschaftlicher Begründung, einzelne Individuen zum Erhalt der Akzeptanz der Bevölkerung aus der Natur zu entnehmen. Eine mögliche Managementmaßnahme, um die Akzeptanz zu erhöhen, kann darüber hinaus auch die Nutzung, also die nachhaltige Bejagung der betreffenden Tierart sein. Dies ist naturschutzrechtlich erst möglich, wenn die Wolfspopulation sich in einem günstigen Erhaltungszustand befindet. Der Wolf ist aktuell in der FFH-Richtlinie in Deutschland in Anhang IV gelistet und als „stark bedroht“ beschrieben. Das Vorkommen in Deutschland wird zusammen mit dem Wolfsvorkommen in Westpolen offiziell als isolierte Population betrachtet. Erst eine Verschiebung der Art in Anhang V würde eine nachhaltige Bejagung möglich machen. Aktuelle Monitoringdaten aus Polen und Dänemark zeigen jedoch, dass die Populationen räumlich zusammenwachsen und auch ein genetischer Austausch zur angrenzenden Baltischen Population besteht (AfN, 2015; ANDERSEN, 2015). Eine Überprüfung der Populationsbeschreibung erscheint anhand der aktuel­len Daten notwendig. Hierzu nimmt auch der Deutsche Jagdverband e. V. in seinem Positionspapier zum Thema Wolf Stellung. Schlussendlich gilt es im Management von Großraub­tieren, eine Balance zwischen den Verpflichtungen des Naturschutzes und der Ak­zep­tanz der Bevölkerung herzustellen. AfN (2015): Association for Nature «WOLF». Abgerufen am 21. August 2015 unter http://www.polishwolf.org.pl/wolves-in-western-poland Andersen, L. W., M. Elmeros, P. Sunde, K. Olsen, C. Vedel-Smith, T.S. Jensen & A.B. Madsen (2015). «DNA-baseret bestandsovervågning afslører ulve (Canis lupus) i Danmark « Flora og Fauna 121(1+2): 60-65.

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

Helmut Dammann-Tamke Helmut Dammann-Tamke ist seit im Präsident der Landesjägerschaft Nieder­sachsen e.V.. Er ist 53 Jahre, verheiratet und Vater dreier Kinder. Helmut Dammann-Tamke ist ausgebildeter Diplom Agraringenieur und bewirtschaftet mit seiner Familie einen landwirtschaftlichen Betrieb in Ohrensen im Landkreis Stade. Seit den Landtagswahlen 2003 ist er Mitglied der CDU-Fraktion des Niedersächsischen Landtages und dort in verschiedenen Ausschüssen tätig. Derzeit ist er agrarpolitischer Sprecher seiner Fraktion. Einer Jägerfamilie entstammend, machte Dammann-Tamke im Jahr 1977 seinen Jagdschein – seit dem Jahr 1984 ist er Mitpächter im Gemeinschaftlichen Jagdbezirk Ohrensen. Von 1987 – 2003 leitete er den Hegering Ohrensen. Im Jahr 2001 wurde er gemeinsam mit seiner Ehefrau Birgit, die derzeit den Hegering Ohrensen leitet, mit dem DJV-Preis für Öffentlichkeitsarbeit ausgezeichnet. Helmut DammannTamke ist passionierter Hundeführer und Baujäger – beide Leidenschaften hat er an seine Kinder weitergegeben. Als Präsident führt Helmut Dammann-Tamke die Interessen der über 53.000 in der Landesjägerschaft Niedersachsen zusammengeschlossenen Jägerinnen und Jäger zusammen und vertritt sie offensiv gegenüber anderen gesellschaftlichen Gruppen sowie den Vertretern von Politik und Verwaltung. Sein Handeln und Tun ist von dem geprägt, was die Jagd als legitime nachhaltige Nutzung biologischer Ressourcen ausmacht. Dies ist gleichzeitig auch die Verantwortung, die die Landesjägerschaft Niedersachsen als anerkannter Naturschutzverband trägt.

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

The return of the wolf to Lower Saxony In 2000 the first reproduction of wild wolves was detected in Eastern Germany; the first resident wolf settled in Lower Saxony in 2011 (LJN, 2013). The first offspring was documented one year later. In the course of the last four years the population in Lower Saxony has increased, and currently consists of seven packs, one pair without pups and two individuals. Currently we are observing an annual population increase greater than 30 %. At first wolves had established their territories within large military training areas not accessible to civilians, but also settled down on private lands and areas partly used for intensive agriculture. These are good examples of how well wolves seem to adapt to the cultural landscape of Lower Saxony. Wolves cross roads, rivers and rails during their travel across the area and do have abundant wild stock available as food. However, this situation also gives rise to conflicts with human interests. Predation of livestock and especially contact between humans and habituated individuals clearly lowers the acceptance for the return of this species. Experience has shown that any unusual and deviant behaviour of single individuals threatens to negatively affect the positive attitude of people towards the wolf. In the context of large carnivore management the acceptance of wolves by the human population is considered the most important element in order to successfully establish returning species. Article 16 of the Habitats Directive provides for the option, on the basis of scientifically justified grounds, to remove single individuals from the wild in order to maintain acceptance among people. The sustainable hunting of relevant species can be considered an appropriate management tool in order to increase acceptance among people. Following current nature legislation this can only occur when the population of the concerned species reaches a favourable conservation status. Currently the Habitats Directive lists German wolves in Annex IV and therefore considers them as “in need of strict protection”. The wolf population in Germany and Western Poland is considered to be isolated, and only a move of this species to Annex V of the Habitats Directive would enable its sustainable hunting. Current monitoring data from Poland and Denmark show that these populations are geographically merging, while a genetic exchange with the neighbouring Baltic population has also been detected (AfN, 2015; ANDERSEN, 2015). It would seem reasonable to review the description of this population with currently available data. In its position paper on the wolf the German Hunters’ Association (Deutscher Jagdverband e.V) has also issued its opinion in this respect. Ultimately, the management of large carnivores must establish a balance between nature protection obligations and the acceptance by the people. AfN (2015): Association for Nature «WOLF». Abgerufen am 21. August 2015 unter http://www.polishwolf.org.pl/wolves-in-western-poland Andersen, L. W., M. Elmeros, P. Sunde, K. Olsen, C. Vedel-Smith, T.S. Jensen & A.B. Madsen (2015). “DNA-baseret bestandsovervågning afslører ulve (Canis lupus) i Danmark” Flora og Fauna 121(1+2): 60-65.

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

Helmut Dammann-Tamke Helmut Dammann-Tamke is President of the Hunters’ Association of Lower-Saxony since May 2008. He is 53 years old, married and father of three children. Mr Dammann-Tamke has a degree in agricultural engineering and manages a farm with his family in Ohrensen in the county of Stade. Since 2003 he is a member of the federal parliament of Lower-Saxony where he is active in several committees. At present he is spokesman on agriculture for his parliamentary group (CDU). Helmut Dammann-Tamke comes from a family of hunters and obtained his hunting license in 1977. He is co-tenant of the community hunting district in Ohrensen. From 1987 to 2003 he chaired the local hunting district of Ohrensen. In 2001 he and his wife Birgit, who at present chairs the hunting district, were awarded with the DJV-Award for publicity work. Helmut Dammann-Tamke is a passionate dog handler and hunter with terriers, passing on his passion to his children. In his role of President of the Lower-Saxony Mr Dammann-Tamke actively represents the interests of 53.000 hunters before other stakeholders and decision makers. Hunting as legitimate use of biological resources marks his actions and policy. This is also the responsibility held by the Hunters’ Association of Lower Saxony as a recognised nature conservation organisation.

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

The wolf in the European landscapes by Julien Alleau and Patrick Degeorges

Since the national transpositions of the Habitats Directive in 1992, imposing a common legal framework to the Member States, the distribution of the wolf population has significantly increased both geographically and demographically. Action plans and conservation strategies have been put into place to fit with the diversity of ecological, social, economical and cultural contexts through the European landscapes, taking into account the history of interactions between human and wolves prior to the 1990’s and their rapid evolution since. These plans, put into place at different levels of regional or national governance, combine wolf population monitoring, protective measures against predation, compensations for losses and specific derogative rules to authorise the killing of wolves within the conditions defined by article 16 of the Habitats Directive.

Julien Alleau Julien Alleau is a Doctor in environmental history and associate researcher at Centre de Recherche d’Histoire Quantitative in Caen (France). His research topics focused on history of human-wolf relationships and develops a multidisciplinary approach. His PhD Thesis “Keeping the distance: a history of the relationship between humans and wolves in the western Alps (16th to 18th centuries)” was completed in 2011. The thesis focused on archival studies of cases of wolf attacks on humans and wolf hunting, but interpreted these within the chan­­ging social and ecological context of the region. From 2011 to 2013 he had a post-doctoral po­ si­­tion at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Re­ search in Trondheim (Norway) where he worked with John D.C. Linnell on an international perspective of wolf-human conflicts.

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In order to present a quick overview of the multiplicity and complexity of these management contexts, one can roughly distinguish between areas of uninterrupted interaction in the 20th century (Spain in the north of the Duero river, Portugal, Italy in the Abruzzo, Finland, Poland…), areas of occasional interaction in the 20th century (Sweden in the 1970’s-1983…) and areas of interrupted interaction since the end of the 19th c. (Germany, France, Austria, Italy in the Piedmont…). It is clearly in this last case, that wolf conservation policies are most controversial, facing strong local resistance resulting from the economic, social and cultural impacts of the ecological emergence of a predation risk in formerly wolf-less landscapes. Putting aside the plurality of cultural representations of wolves, two main categories of conflicts appear as predation affects patterns of livestock breeding and hunting practices. Conflicts based on interactions with livestock are predominant in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the north of Sweden, for example. Conflicts based on hunting are mainly found in the south of Sweden, Germany or Finland. Since 1992, following the increase of the wolf population and the expansion of its distribution across Europe, the adaptive management doctrines, initially encouraged, especially in areas newly recolonised, are faced with significant challenges (more damages, new contexts of predation, larger territories to monitor, multiplication of interventions on wolf population...).


The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

Despite the orientation guidelines produced by the Commission in 2008 for the management of great predators under the Habitats Directive framework, the question of when and how it is appropriate to go from a case-based to a “demographic” approach to damage control is still unresolved. The use of hunting as a management strategy to control an expanding wolf population is still so controversial, it has brought Member States and the Commission in front of the European Court of Justice in 2007 (Finland). As this transitional situation will tend to become more frequent with the expansion of wolves through the European landscapes, it is politically needed for Member States and the Commission to timely reach a consensus on this controversial and complex issue.

Patrick Degeorges The philosopher Patrick Degeorges developed his expertise on the coexistence with large carnivores and in particular wolves, following a long field research in the Yellowstone National Park in the United Stated with the support of the National Park Service (NPS), working on this topic at PROSES at the faculty for political sciences of the Paris University (“The wolf, a State affair”, 2004 Cahiers du PROSES), and in the frame of his functions at the Ministry of Ecology from 2005 to 2010 where he followed the implementation of the national wolf policy. He is currently doing research at the National Museum of Natural History (MNHN) on the anthropocene through an analysis of ethical and political dimensions in the protection of biodiversity and the adaptation to global warming. He co-chairs a programme promoting environmental humanities (www. humanitesenvironnementales.fr) put in place by the MNHN and the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-enYvelines. Since 2011, he is in charge of the increasing questions and strategies in regards to biodiversity in the Directorate of Water and Biodiversity at the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. His views do not represent the position of the French Government.

Patrick Degeorges, philo­sophe, a développé son expertise sur la coexistence avec les grands prédateurs, et en particulier les loups, suite à un long séjour d’étude effectué dans le Parc national de Yellowstone aux Etats-Unis avec le soutien du National Park Service (NPS), à ses travaux sur le sujet au sein du PROSES à Sciences Po Paris («Le loup, affaire d’Etat», 2004 Cahiers du PROSES), et dans le cadre de ses fonctions au Ministère chargé de l’écologie de 2005 à 2010, où il a notamment suivi la mise en oeuvre de la politique nationale sur le loup. Il poursuit désormais une recherche au Muséum national d’histoire naturelle (MNHN) sur l’Anthropocène à travers une analyse des dimensions éthiques et politiques de la protection de la biodiversité et de l’adaptation au changement climatique. Il co-pilote éga­le­ment un programme de valorisation des humanités environnementales (www.humanitesenvironnementales.fr) porté par le MNHN et l’Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. Depuis 2011, il est responsable des questions émergentes et stratégiques en lien avec la biodiversité à la Direction de l’Eau et de la Biodiversité du Ministère de l’Ecologie, du Développement Durable et de l’Energie. Son point de vue ne représente pas la position du gouvernement français.

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

Leitlinien zum Umgang mit dem Wolf aus Sicht des NABU Der Wolf ist als Rückkehrer in sein ehemaliges Verbreitungsgebiet ein natürlicher Bestandteil unserer heimischen Ökosysteme. Seine Ausbreitung wird – wie die jeder anderen bedrohten heimischen Tierart auch – vom NABU begrüßt und unterstützt. Die Rückkehr des Wolfes steht zudem für einen veränderten Umgang des Menschen mit der Natur: Während früher eine reine Betrachtung des Nutzwertes im Vordergrund stand, hat sich mittlerweile die wissenschaftlich basierte Erkenntnis durchgesetzt, dass auch Großraubtiere wie Luchs und Wolf eine wichtige Rolle in der Natur inne haben. Um das Prinzip einer möglichst konfliktfreien Ko-Existenz umzusetzen, ist in vielen Teilen Europas – insbesondere z.B. in Deutschland – das Wiedererlernen des Umgangs mit Wölfen erforderlich.

Eick von Ruschkowski Dr. Eick von Ruschkowski ist seit November 2013 Fachbereichsleiter Natur­ schutz und Umwelt­politik beim NABU-Bundes­ver­ band. Zuvor hat er in Lüneburg Umweltwissenschaften studiert und anschließend an der Leibniz Universität Hannover in der Umweltplanung zum Thema der Akzeptanz von Nationalparks bei der örtlichen Bevölkerung promoviert. Er war Mitarbeiter beim Sachverständigenrat für Umweltfragen (SRU) und am Institut für Umweltplanung der Leibniz Universität Hannover. Eick von Ruschkowski ist seit 1985 aktives Mitglied im NABU. Der NABU ist mit 560.000 Mitgliedern und Förderern einer der größten Naturschut­zorga­ nisationen in Deutschland und Mit­glied des weltweiten Netzwerkes BirdLife International.

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Der Wolf ist im Einklang mit der Berner Konvention und der FFH-Richtlinie nach den strengen Vorgaben der Naturschutzgesetzgebung in den EU-Mitgliedsstaaten geschützt. Gleichwohl müssen die potentiellen Risiken, die durch das Vorkommen des Wolfes entstehen, berücksichtigt werden. Grundlage hierfür muss ein auf streng wissen­ schaftlichen Kriterien ausgerichtetes Monitoring der Bestandsentwicklung sein. Nur so kann z.B. beurteilt werden, ob der Wolf sich insgesamt, in seinen Teilpopulationen oder innerhalb der einzelnen EU-Mitgliedsländer in einem guten Erhaltungszustand befindet oder nicht. Nach Ansicht des NABU ist das Monitoring z.B. in Deutschland, aber auch anderen Mitgliedsländern derzeit nicht ausreichend, um valide Aussagen treffen zu können. Die derzeitige, nahezu exponentielle Bestandsentwicklung wird sich abflachen, wenn alle geeigneten Territorien besetzt sind. Bestehende Risiken – illegaler Abschuss, Straßenverkehr und auch die Gefahr eines zu kleinen Genpools – werden auch weiterhin negative Auswirkungen auf die Populationsentwicklung haben. Darüber hinaus ist klar festzuhalten, dass das Erreichen eines guten Erhaltungszustandes keinen Automatismus einer Bestandsregulierung nach sich zieht. Das leitende Kriterium muss sein, ob das Vorkommen des Wolfes negative Auswirkungen auf den Menschen oder menschliche Aktivitäten hat, die so signifikant sind, dass sie einen Eingriff


The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

erfordern. Der bestehende Rechtsrahmen mit der Listung des Wolfes in Anhang IV der FFH-Richtlinie und den jeweiligen Gesetzgebungen der Mitgliedsstaaten ist bereits heute vollkommen ausreichend, den gesamten Katalog möglicher Managementmaßnahmen bis hin zur Entnahme einzelner Wölfe abzudecken. Es mangelt derzeit aber massiv an wissenschaftsbasierten validen Kriterien, um z.B. auffälliges Verhalten von Wölfen zu definieren, das Managementmaßnahmen in einer Kaskade von Monitoring – Vergrämung – Abschuss nach sich ziehen kann. Die Risikopotentiale für Konflikte zwischen Wolf und Mensch sind wohlbekannt; auch die Ursachen dafür. Wölfe sind zwar grundsätzlich in der Lage, einen Menschen zu töten, allerdings ist dieses Risiko – auch durch entsprechende Zahlen belegt – als außerordentlich gering einzuschätzen. Für den NABU gilt selbstverständlich, dass im Zweifelsfall die Unversehrtheit des Menschen stets Vorrang hat. Eine Verharmlosung des Risikos nehmen wir nicht vor; stattdessen beobachten wir derzeit mit Sorge, dass zumindest in Deutschland die Gefahr des Übergriffes auf Menschen völlig übertrieben wird. Schauerpolemik wird uns in der Diskussion nicht zu Ergebnissen bringen. Eine wichtige Präventionsmaßnahme ist die Vermeidung einer Habituierung von Wölfen, was eine umfassende Aufklärung der Öffentlichkeit voraussetzt. Akuter hingegen ist das bestehende Risiko der Prädation des Wolfes auf Nutztiere, wobei sich zeigt, dass durch geeignete Herdenschutzmaßnahmen die Verluste minimiert werden können. Herdenbesitzer sollen hierfür geschult werden; bei Verlusten ist der Schaden zu ersetzen. Zusammenfassend sieht der NABU die Möglichkeit der Ko-Existenz von Mensch und Wolf in Deutschland. Die Risiken im Umgang mit dem Wolf sind beherrschbar, es bedarf aber einer partizipativen und transparenten Managementplanung, insbesondere unter Einbeziehung der Nutzerseite. Der strenge Rahmen des Naturschutzes ist dabei zu beachten, es gibt derzeit keine Gründe, den Wolf von Anhang IV nach Anhang V der FFH-Richtlinie abzustufen. Ebenso muss gelten, dass Entscheidungen nicht auf Grundlage von Aktionismus getroffen werden, sondern vielmehr auf Basis wissenschaftlicher Erkenntnisse. Auch die Jagd sollte sich die Ko-Existenz mit dem Wolf zu eigen machen, um zu beweisen, dass alte Feindbilder keine Gültigkeit mehr haben und der Wolf nicht fortlaufend als „Problemart“ beschrieben wird.

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

Guidelines on dealing with the wolf - the perspective of NABU Wolves having returned to their original habitat are a natural part of our native ecosystems and NABU welcomes and supports their dispersal – as it does for any other endangered native species. The return of the wolf comes along with a change of human interaction with nature: while in the past priority was given to the pure analysis of the value in use, it has now become widely accepted - on the basis of scientific evidence - that large carnivore species such as lynx and wolf, play a key role in nature. In many parts of Europe – and especially in Germany - we need to relearn how to deal with wolves in order to establish a widest possible conflict-free, peaceful coexistence.

Eick von Ruschkowski Eick von Ruschkowski has been Department Head for Nature Con­ servation and Envi­ron­­men­tal Po­ licy at NABU (Na­ tur­ schutzbund Deutsch­land) since November 2013. Prior to this occupation, he was a post-docto­ral faculty member at the Institute of Environmental Planning at Leibniz University Hannover. His education includes a master’s degree in environmental sciences and a PhD in environmental planning which he earned for research in the field of human dimensions of nature conservation. He has been an active NABU member since 1985. With more than 560,000 members and supporters, NABU is Germany’s largest member-based environmental civil society organization and the German partner of BirdLife International.

In accordance with the Bern Convention and the EU Habitats Directive, wolves are protected following the strict requirements imposed by national nature legislation in the various EU member states. However, also the potential risks arising with the presence of wolves need to be taken into account. This should be done on the basis of monitoring their population trends following precise and valid scientific standards. Only this will enable a proper assessment whether wolves as a whole, their partial or total population(s) found in the various EU member states are showing a favorable conservation status or not. NABU considers the monitoring in Germany, but also in other member states currently as not being sufficient in order to make valid statements in this respect.

The currently nearly exponentially growing population development will flatten once all suitable territories are inhabited. The currently existent risks – like illegal killing, road traffic, but also risks of a too small gene pool – will continue to negatively affect the population development. Besides, it should clearly be noted, that the achievement of a favorable conservation status of a population does not automatically imply its regulation. The key factor is, whether the presence of wolves negatively affects humans or human activities to such an extent that measures need to be taken. The current legal framework listing wolves in Annex IV of the Habitat Directive and the national legislation of EU member states today is already fully adequate to cover the whole set of possible management measures and provides even for taking out single individuals. However, there is currently a lack of science-based valid criteria

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

i.e. to define “abnormal” behavior of wolves which would be the baseline to consider management measures following the three subsequent steps of intensified monitoring, aversive conditioning and finally elimination. The potential risks for conflicts between wolves and humans are well known as well as the reasons behind them. Wolves are, in principle, able to kill a human being, but the risk for this to be happen - as relevant data shows - is estimated to be extremely low. It goes without saying that for NABU, in case of any doubt, priority has always to be given to the human life. We are not playing down any risk. However, we are currently concerned about the fact, that at least in Germany the risk for attacks against humans is entirely exaggerated. Polemic disputes won’t help us to achieve results. An important preventive measure is to avoid the habituation of wolves. This implies to comprehensively raise public awareness in this respect. More relevant is the risk of livestock predation by wolves, but experience shows that appropriate livestock protection measurements can minimize livestock losses. Livestock owners should therefore be adequately trained and losses be compensated.

In conclusion, NABU considers that there is space for the coexistence between humans and wolves in Germany. The risks in dealing with wolves are manageable but require a participative and transparent management planning, especially by involving the user perspective. In this respect, the strict nature protection requirements should be taken into consideration. At the moment, there are no reasons to move wolves from Annex IV to Annex V of the Habitat Directive. Similarly, decisionmaking shouldn’t be based on activism, but on scientific knowledge. The hunting community should also acknowledge the coexistence with wolves by demonstrating that old stereotypes are no longer valid and wolves are not always described as “problematic species”.

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscapes

COPA-COGECA’s main messages

The increasing number of large carnivores’ attacks, especially on sheep, are causing severe losses in production and consequently, in incomes. It even threatens the biodiverse rich grasslands maintained through grazing, many of them depending on transhumance practices that are particularly vulnerable to large carnivores’ attacks. This requires an active management of large carnivores. It becomes obvious that in some regions the implementation of the Habitat Directive itself is considered as an obstacle in addressing the conflicts arising from the presence of large carnivores. Looking into how the EU Habitats Directive can take better account of the concerns of the local rural people given the changes to population dynamics of protected species as well as to changes in the protected habitats is crucial. Solely focusing on protections measures against large carnivores is no longer an option due to the fact that wolf’s behavior has changed (attacking also during the day) and that wolf population has evolved.

Emmanuel Coste Mr Coste is currently a livestock producer in the Haute Loire region on an organic farm which produces cattle and sheep for their meat. After many years in positions of responsibility in the meat sector, Emmanuel Coste has also represented goatmeat and sheepmeat producers at European level (Copa-Cogeca), who he continue to serve as a spokesperson for today. Emmanuel Coste also represents the sheepmeat sector at international level at the International Meat Secretariat (IMS). In addition, he was elected President of the sheep sector of the IMS in 2014. Emmanuel Coste was elected to the National Ovine Federation in 1986, and was Secretary General and then Vice-President until recently. In 1992, he was elected President of Interbev Ovin, an interbranch organisation which brings together breeders, the marketing of animals, slaughtering, cutting and supply of sheepmeat to butchers and supermarkets. This organisation had to manage numerous production crises, the opening of Europe to the global markets, the enlargement of Europe to the south and the east, which had subsistence sheepmeat economies or were geared towards milk and meat. The areas where the sheepmeat economy exists are often characterised by difficult conditions or have lower agronomic value. There was therefore a need to develop feeding techniques linked to local resources or with specific practices such as transhumance. Emmanuel Coste has spared no effort in getting these practices recognised in national and European polices and in proposing that value be added to products which are linked to said practices or territories. Finally, along with others, Emmanuel Coste created the ‘Ovimpiades’ in France: real competitions for future young shepherds who incorporate modern livestock techniques into their production (electronic identification; quad bikes), to encourage young people to find their vocation and to thereby enter the livestock profession! As it had a global dimension, Emmanuel Coste founded such a competition at international level with the major producing countries (Young Shepherd Challenge). Emmanuel Coste holds a degree from the agricultural higher education institute ISARA in Lyon (France) and has worked as a consultant in Algeria.

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

Le retour du loup dans le paysage européen

Principaux messages du COPA et de la COGECA Les attaques des grandes prédateurs toujours plus nombreuses, notamment contre les ovins, entraînent de graves pertes de production et par conséquent de revenus. Ces attaques constituent même une menace pour les prairies à forte biodiversité qui sont préservées par le pacage. Beaucoup dépendent des pratiques de transhumance qui sont particulièrement vulnérables aux attaques de grands carnivores. La situation requiert une gestion active des grands carnivores. Il ressort clairement que dans certaines régions, la mise en œuvre de la Directive Habitats ellemême est vue comme un obstacle à la résolution du conflit lié à la présence de grands carnivores. Il est primordial de travailler sur la manière dont la Directive Habitats pourrait mieux tenir compte des besoins des communautés rurales étant donné les changements dans les dynamiques de populations d’espèces protégées et dans les habitats protégés. L’on ne peut plus uniquement se concentrer sur les mesures de protection contre les grands carnivores car le comportement du loup a changé (il attaque pendant la journée) et la population du loup a évolué. Actuellement éleveur en Haute Loire sur une ferme en agriculture biologique produisant des bovins et des ovins pour la viande. Après de nombreuses années avec des responsabilités dans la filière viande, Emmanuel Coste a représenté durant de nombreuses années les éleveurs ovins et caprins au niveau européen (Copa Cogeca )- dont il est encore aujourd’hui leur porteparole .Emmanuel Coste représente également la filière ovine au niveau international à l’Office international de la Viande (OIV). Il a d’ailleurs été élu président du secteur ovin en 2014 à l’OIV. Emmanuel Coste a été élu à la Fédération nationale ovine en 1986, en a été le Secrétaire Général puis Vice-Président jusqu’ à ces dernières années. En 1992, il a été élu Président d’Interbev Ovin, interprofession regroupant les éleveurs, la mise en marche des animaux, l’abattage, la découpe et la distribution de viande ovine en boucheries ou en supermarchés. Cette organisation a dû gérer de nombreuses crises de production, l’ouverture de l’Europe aux marchés mondiaux, l’élargissement de l’Europe au Sud et à l’Est avec des économies ovines vivrières ou tournées vers le lait et la viande. Les territoires où l’économie ovine existe sont souvent plus difficiles ou de moins bonne valeur agronomique. Aussi a-til fallu développer des techniques d’alimentation en lien avec les ressources locales ou avec des pratiques spécifiques comme la transhumance. Emmanuel Coste s’est efforcé de faire reconnaître ces pratiques dans les politiques nationales ou européennes et de proposer des valorisations de produits liées à ces pratiques ou à ces territoires. Enfin, avec d’autres responsables, Emmanuel Coste a créé les Ovimpiades en France : véritables compétitions de jeunes futurs bergers incorporant les moyens modernes de l’élevage (identification électronique, quad.....) pour susciter des vocations et donc attirer des jeunes vers ces métiers de l’élevage ! La problématique étant mondiale Emmanuel Coste est le fondateur de ce concours au niveau international avec les grands pays producteurs (young shepherd Challenge). Emmanuel Coste est diplômé de l’Ecole d’ingénieurs agricoles ISARA à Lyon (France) et a travaillé comme consultant en Algérie.

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

The wolf in Slovakia Jozef Doczy Jozef Doczy is director of the Department of State Administration of Forestry and Hunting Mana­ ge­ ment at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural De­ ve­lopment of the Slovak Republic. He was born in 1960 in Levice, Slovakia. He studied forestry at the Secondary Forestry School in Banská Štiavnica and later on graduated from the Faculty of Forestry of Technical University in Zvolen. During early career he gained ten years expertise in forest management, especially in preparation of forestry plans, monitoring of forests and nature conservation. Afterwards he was employed at the State Forestry Administration in Nitra as a specialist on hunting and forestry management. He is the head of Regional Forestry Chamber Bratislava and a member of several interde­ partmental working groups on nature conser­ vation, wood processing and environ­ mental criminality. He is an active hunter from 1978. His personal and professional ambitions are aimed at combining best knowledge and practice in the field of forestry, hunting management and nature conservation. In his free time he likes hiking and nature observation.

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The present distribution and favourable status of the wolf in Slovakia is the result of efforts to maintain viable population already from 1975. The wolf range encompasses 69% of the forest land. The population size is estimated at about 300 individuals in late winter and up to 600 in autumn before the open season (1 November–15 January). The wolf has never been extinct in Slovakia. In humans it causes less fear, as in areas recently re-colonized by them after a long period of extinction. The wolf is more accepted by city people than by rural inhabitants. There are not known cases of loss of shyness of wolves or encounters with man. The main prey species are red deer, wild boar and roe deer, in some areas non native fallow deer and mouflon. Depredation on farm animals is not a crucial problem. Damage to livestock is mostly found in sheep and goats and less on cattle. In 2014 wolves killed 376 sheep, 16 goats and 35 cattle totalling € 65 560. Damage to livestock is compensated for by the Government but there are no subsides for the mitigation measures. Conflict also arises when wolves kill trophy game species, especially red deer stags of high genetic quality. In 2004, Slovakia joined the European Union and adopted a system of nature conservation of NATURA 2000. The Slovak Republic has an exception from the full protection of the wolf which is declared in Annex 4 of the Directive. Before 2010, wolves were hunted in unlimited numbers. Hunting Law N 274/2009 introduced duty to set annual quotas for wolf hunting. In 2013, the EU Commission referred Slovakia the letter of notice. There were three main issues regarding the wolf management. International cooperation in protection of the wolf alongside border areas with neighboring countries, hunting of wolves within the Sites of Community Importance designated for the wolf protection and setting annual hunting quotas for wolves. In 2013, as a result of the notice, Slovakia acceded to strong action to prevent further


The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

culling. This included a ban of hunting in many Sites of Community Importance near border areas, the prohibition of drive hunts, and a check of each carcass by Government inspectors. There is ongoing process of introducing wolf monitoring methods and we soon complete the wolf management plan. In conclusion - Slovakia sustains thriving and genetically diverse wolf population which serves as a gene pool for neighbouring countries. - It is questionable if dispersing wolves from Slovakia to the Pannonia lowland will be able to set up a viable population especially in farmlands where many conflicts with livestock breeders can be expected. - Cross border cooperation should include mainly monitoring of the wolf population and the cross-fertilization of experiences. This should prevent further misunderstanding among neighbouring countries. - Setting annual hunting quotas is a very effective tool for sustainable management of the wolf population based on the latest knowledge of species status and all other needs of human society. - Based on up-to-date information, hunters expect the possibility to continue in hunting wolves especially in areas where their numbers considerably increased, and where they cause damage on livestock and game.

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

Presentation by Sami Niemi

Ministerial Adviser at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland

Sami Niemi Sami Niemi has worked in the ministry of Agriculture and Forestry more than eighteen years. His main tasks have been the stra­ tegic planning of the Large Carnivore Policy in Finland.

In Finland there are present all the four large carnivores: brown bear, lynx, wolverine and wolf. And all of them have a distribution covering basically whole of Finland. The national population management plans of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for wolverine, lynx, bear and wolf are a key instrument in implementing the national policy on large carnivores. Population management plans have been implemented with the aim to meet the requirements laid out in international agreements for achieving the ecological sustainability of the species, whilst taking into account national needs for ensuring economic and social sustainability.

He also had a major role in the establishment of the Finnish Wildlife Agency, which is now the main player on the implementation of the Large Carnivore Policy in Finland.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry had the national policy on large carnivores evaluated by the University of Helsinki. A key observation made in the evaluation was that in the large carnivore policy equal consideration should be given to ecological, economic and social factors in policy objectives and actions, as well as to understand that these three perspectives are interdependent. The evaluation showed that when it comes on the policy related to brown bear and lynx management the ecological, economic and social factors in policy objectives and actions were reasonably in balance. However, the greatest challenges we face on the policy on wolves. There was an unprecedented collapse in the ecological sustainability of the wolf population. After the population management plan entered into effect, the wolf population for the entire country reached its peak in 2007, but has declined since then. The largest single collapse in the wolf population occurred in 2010, and the lowest population level was recorded in 2013, with a minimum population estimate of 120 individuals. Only illegal killing of wolves can explain this dramatic decline. This collapse in the wolf population has led to a situation whereby no derogations for population management have been granted for wolves – instead, all population management has been carried out through a few derogations to prevent damages. Since the criteria for granting the derogations in question have been found to be challenging, this has led to a situation where the value of wolves as prey animals has been taken away and the species is seen almost exclusively as a pest. Hence in addition to ecological sustainability the social sustainability of the wolf population has also collapsed. Local residents feel that they have no influence over managing their livelihoods or daily routines.

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

Therefore we decided to revise the management plan on wolf taking in to account of the findings of the evaluation. The revised management plan was prepared in cooperation by the Finnish Wildlife Agency and the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute (currently, the Natural Resources Institute Finland) under the leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The preparation of the revised management plan relied on a pragmatic approach to planning. The point of departure was problem-centred interaction between the game administration, researchers and civil society actors. Rather than one-directional hearings, the work was based on concrete discussions, cooperation and search for and creation of solutions. The objective was formulating new ways of thinking and acting that would permit a more harmonious coexistence of humans and wolves in the same areas. The revised management plan contains the general objectives of wolf population management in Finland and the concrete measures and project ideas by means of which the civil society, the game administration, the research sector and even the wolf itself can be winners in collaborative population management in each territory. The point of departure for managing the Finnish wolf population is focusing on individual wolf territories. This means that targets are set and measures are planned for each individual wolf pack and territory. The concerns and needs of residents in the wolf territories will be addressed by population management measures that will not put the pack’s viability at risk. By means of population management that focuses on individual territories and cooperation groups to be set up in areas with wolf territories, local residents will be provided possibilities for participation. The cooperation groups will be tasked to assess the local wolf situation and to discuss prevention of problems and hunting carried out to manage the population. Coexistence will also be promoted by intervening in the behaviour of individual wolves that cause problems or damage. On the basis of this revised management plan, we initiated a two year trial project allowing the management based hunting on wolves from specified viable wolf packs. The continuation of the management based hunt is dependent on the success of the trial. Our main aim is to achieve and then maintain a favourable conservation status of the wolf population. A favourable conservation status will be achieved by safeguarding the viability of each wolf pack. Efforts to achieve a favourable conservation status in Finland by means of strict protection have failed. The wolf population can only be protected if the concerns and needs of humans living and working in the living areas of wolves are addressed by population management measures. We hope that the new focus on individual territories of wolf packs and on people living in the same area will provide a better change to achieve both the ecological and social sustainability of policy on wolf population management.

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

The Return of the wolf to Germany Position Paper of the German Hunting Association Deutscher Jagdverband e.V. (DJV)

In former times the wolf population was widely distributed in Europe. As a consequence of numerous conflicts with man, wolves were extinct or seen on a few isolated occurrences in many areas of Western and Central Europe from the 18th to the 20th century. There was evidence in the year 2000 that the wolf was breeding again in Germany (Muskauer Heide (Heath) Saxony). Since then, wolves have been settling in new habitats at an increasing speed and have firmly established themselves in the Federal States of Saxony, Brandenburg, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Saxony-Anhalt. According to the latest official figures of the Bundesamt für Naturschutz (BfN, Federal Agency for Nature Conservation), in autumn 2014 at least 31 wolf packs, 4 pairs and 5 territorial solitary individuals were living in Germany plus an unknown number of non-territorial individuals. In the monitoring year 2013/2014 the existence of 100 wolf pups in Germany was confirmed. The population´s growth and spread over the course of the first 15 years clearly exceeded even very optimistic expectations. From the documented results of monitoring in Germany one may discern a continuous growth rate of more than 30 per-cent per year. This recovery of the population is to be attributed to the protective measures supported by hunters at both national and international level. The wolf has been regarded as a strongly protected species in the Federal Republic of Germany since 1987, whereas it had in the same year been declared a huntable game species on the territory of the GDR on the basis of hunting laws. With the reunification came the extension of its protected status throughout Germany and in 1992 wolves throughout the EU were placed under the Habitats-Directive (Germany: Annexes II and IV). The aim of the Habitats Directive is the restoration or preservation of a favourable conservation status for the species listed in the annexes. With regard to the large carnivores in Europe the relevant expert criteria for this are listed in the “Guidelines for Population Level Management Plans for Large Carnivores in Europe” (Linnell et al. 2008) which the EUCommission consults as a non-legally binding interpretative guidance document. These guidelines are based exclusively upon an evaluation of the conservation status of large carnivores at the population level. In the opinion of the DJV the German and West Polish subpopulation is living at the western border of the continuous Northeast-European/Baltic population, for which the favourable conservation status has already been proven over a period of several years. A genetic exchange with Eastern Europe is guaranteed, which is already documented by the fact of settlement in West Poland and Germany of wolves deriving from that region, and the free movement of wolves within the population. In addition, recent developments reveal that, in France, animals belonging to the Alpine wolf population have spread

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

out over the Vosges Mountains into northern Lorraine in the immediate vicinity of the German border.

Policy requests • DJV urgently calls upon the German Federal Government to continue its endeavours to set up a scientifically reliable system of wolf monitoring in cooperation with Poland and to include the Baltic States as well as France, Switzerland, the Benelux States and Denmark, in order to achieve the medium-term aim of a common, cross-border system of management. The monitoring of a cross-border wolf population must not fail due to national borders or bureaucratic obstacles. It is particularly important that monitoring methods be coordinated internationally. • The results of the numerous genetic samples are already available and expected in the future to be published regularly and made accessible to everybody in accordance with the Environment Information Act (Umweltinformationsgesetz). • The focus of genetic examination is to be placed upon the connection between the wolf populations in Germany to those in the neighbouring countries. • DJV calls upon the policymakers to clarify the fact that, according to the criteria of the “Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe” (LCIE) the benchmarks for the conservation status of a species always apply to an entire population and not only for occurrences within politically restricted areas.

A call for a comprehensive system of wildlife management The wolf is again present in large areas of Germany. As a large predator it finds itself involved in numerous relationships with other species of animals and with man. In the context of a holistic system of wild animal management not only the levels of its classic prey but also those of other species of wild and domestic animals are to be taken into consideration from which, for example, protection obligations or conservation measures for hunters are derived. This applies in particular to those species of wild animals for which, in contrast to the wolf, no positive population trend is seen. As a fundamental rule no species may be weighed up against any other. Species conservation is not hierarchical! Responsible wildlife management demands equal consideration of all species occurring within a particular habitat. The restriction, for example, of red deer to officially declared management areas in some Federal States is incompatible with the postulation of widespread settlement of the wolf in Germany.

Policy requests • The red deer management areas still existing in Germany must be dissolved. • The mouflon population deserves a protection and conservation concept of its own. It is a species that has inhabited Germany for a long time and of which the genetically valuable populations today live in Central Europe and are extremely endangered in their original isolated habitats.

The following questions are to be clarified from the point of view of hunters • How is the relationship between the wolf and its prey developing in the cultural landscape? • What influence does the wolf exert today and in the long term (in the event of its extensive presence) upon our domestic species? • Which immediate protection and conservation measures are to be initiated in the event of the potential loss of a species?

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

• Which practical effects upon hunters does the presence of the wolf have (for example upon the behaviour of ungulates, the damage caused by game in forestry and agriculture, the danger dogs are exposed to while hunting)? • Which appropriate and sustainable deterrent measures exist that may be used against the wolf without bureaucratic efforts? Hunters are prepared to support the implementation of appropriate research projects.

Transparency when handling monitoring data Hunters assume responsibility by making an active contribution to the monitoring activities of the Federal States (partly even on a contractual basis) and supply data pursuant to evidence of wolves’ presences (e.g. pictures from camera traps, records of footprints, droppings, analyses of kills). In return, however, hunters demand to also be permanently involved in the assessment of the scientific results for practical purposes. A dialogue between those concerned is to be promoted by way of the annual monitoring reports of the Federal States on the subject of the wolf. The summarised results of the monitoring are also to be publicised at national level close to the event in the form of a vivid report and communicated accordingly. For this reason the DJV welcomes the announcement of the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) of the establishment of a national advisory and documentation centre. This presupposes on the whole mutual acceptances, honesty and frankness between all those involved.

Policy requests • A robust, national and cross-border monitoring system is to be set up and expanded. For this purpose systems are to be developed for documenting the existence of wolves with the aid of which the recognition of female animals in particular is to be increased (e.g. by catching pups and marking). • Care should be taken that the number of “experienced persons” is increased proportionate to the growth in the population of the wolves. • The appointment criteria for “experienced persons” should be revised. The training for a Wolf Consultant/Wildlife Officer should render the person concerned capable of fulfilling tasks from the management plans. From among this circle of persons an increasing number of committed hunters should then be appointed “experienced persons.” • In the Federal States, uniform and effective structures for the realisation of management plans should be established. • With regard to the perception and acceptance of the national advisory and documentation centre, science, nature conservation, livestock farmers, property owners and hunters should all be incorporated on an equal footing. • B.MUB is called upon to develop a national management plan for the wolf by the year 2017 and to coordinate this with the affected neighbouring states.

Clarification through intensive public relations The spreading of the wolf in Germany is currently not progressing without conflicts. This development will intensify still further. DJV therefore asks for intensive public relations work that can preserve acceptance of the wolf in the long term. This means that the public must be provided with factual information and non-bureaucratic assistance in dealing with the

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

wolf. This is of all the more importance as an increasing number of young wolves of low timidity are being observed. If we are serious about the wolf then we must also act consistently and provide information when confronted with real problems. If not, acceptance of the wolf among the population will be needlessly jeopardised. All in all, the wolf should be neither belittled nor bedevilled.

Policy requests • Practical guidelines and instructions on how to act in scenarios that might occur when dealing with wolves are to be developed and communicated. • The culling of animals displaying problematic behaviour might become - as a last resort - necessary on grounds of public safety must not be treated as a taboo subject. The same applies to wolves suffering from diseases that may be transmitted to humans such as rabies.

What is to happen next? The classification of the wolf in the year 1992 in Annex IV of the Habitats Directive stems from an age in which this animal had not been seen regularly on German territory for more than 130 years. The current development of the wolf population represents a challenge to all those involved. When dealing with the wolf, the experiences made in those countries in which the wolf had never become extinct and which have been known for some time should be taken advantage of. Therefore, in order to preserve acceptance in Germany in the future the already existing regulations of Article 16 of the Habitats Directive should be strictly applied. In doing so, significant forms of land management necessary to preserve the countryside such as pasture farming in the Alpine region and the grazing of sheep on dykes must be given priority whilst preserving the current favourable conservation status of the wolf.

Policy requests • The responsible persons in the Federation and the States are called upon to tackle the question of how the increasing wolf population may in the future be maintained at a stable level adapted to the habitat conditions. • The wolf is to be transferred as soon as possible, as logically discussed in the context of the current fitness check being carried out on the Habitats-Directive, from Annex IV to Annex V.

Sources: Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora [Habitats-Directive]. Linnell J., V. Salvatori and L. Boitani (2008): Guidelines for Population Level Management Plans for Large Carnivores in Europe. A Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe. Report prepared for the European Commission. Rom.

The Delegates’ Assembly of the German Hunters’ Association Dresden, June 19th 2015

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

The position on wolf management of the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management Population development and problems The modern Swedish wolf population stems from the immigration of two wolves from Russia to the middle part of Sweden in the late 1980’s. Population development was slow in the first decade, but due to the immigration of one additional wolf the population is now well beyond 400 individuals and the average increase in the last decade has been around 15% annually. The population is very well researched and a pedigree, based on DNA sampling, covers almost all wolves. Due to the fact that 55% of Sweden’s surface is a reindeer herding area, where wolves are not accepted due to the damages they cause, and that the southern parts of Sweden are not very suitable to wolves, it has created a special situation. The wolf population is concentrated to the middle part of Sweden and especially in the county of Värmland (roughly the size of Slovenia) where 50% of the whole population is concentrated. This concentration is causing severe problems, principally for livestock farmers and hunters. Each year a large number of livestock and hunting dogs are killed by wolves. The high concentration also causes problems with wolves appearing in the middle of communities and leads to the risk of collapsing game populations. The annual cost for the management of the large carnivores amounts to 70 million SEK (7 000 000€).

Conservations status and management The conservation status of the wolf population is favourable. A population viability analysis based on the criteria in the Habitats Directive, has been carried out, and based on the results the favourable conservation status (FCS) has been defined as 270 animals. The conservation status is thus based on solid scientific criteria. Because of the damages caused by wolves, the population has to be managed. The management needs to be based on biological and socio-economic justifications. In view of the big differences between regions, the management also needs to take account of regional considerations and the decisions on management need to be taken by regional authorities. This is the case in Sweden and it must continue this way. An important goal for the management is to deal with the high concentrations of wolves in certain regions. The high concentrations cause unacceptable high damages to farming, hunting and cause anxiety among the local populations. This year´s wolf hunt was deliberately designed to lower the concentration in the areas with the most dense populations and highest number of damages. A focus was also put on packs with the highest

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

level of inbreeding. The hunt also serves, based on scientific advice, as a mean to create higher acceptance for wolves among the local population. It should further be noted that according to opinion polls there is a majority supporting the hunting of wolves. Despite the fact that Sweden has successfully managed the wolf population with a steady growth from 2 wolves to well over 400 the European Commission is still pursuing an infringement procedure against the country. This infringement procedure causes unpredictability and prevents a sustainable long-term management of the wolf population.

Actions needed In order to have a successful wolf management, a number of actions need to be taken: • Since the wolf population has reached FCS it should be moved from Annex IV to Annex V of the Habitats Directive. Annex IV is not suitable for the conservation and management of well-established and growing populations. • The Commission must be more flexible in its interpretations of the possibilities to use derogations in the directive. When a species has reached FCS more consideration must be given to socio-economic, cultural, traditional and regional factors. • When setting levels of tolerance, emphasis must be put on the level of damages caused by wolves, their impact on hunting and game population numbers as well as taking account of peoples’ anxiety and fear of wolves. The level must be set in order to maintain the possibility to conduct hunting. • The overall impact of large carnivores on the level of game populations must be an integrated part of the management plans. In areas with high predation on game and continuous damages to hunting dogs and livestock it must be possible to erase packs of wolves in order to create a possibility for game populations to recover. • The Government is to ensure that sufficient resources are available for the management of wolves. • All management need to be based on regional decisions in order to have the highest possible consideration of socio-economic factors and to enjoy support among local actors. • Information campaigns about wolves and wolf management need to address the necessity of active hunting of wolves and be directed to conservations organisations and their members.

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

Design: www.altitude.design Pictures: Shutterstock Collection

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The Return of the Wolf to the European Landscape challenges and solutions

FACE - Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation of the EU

Co-Secretariat European Landowners’ Organization

Rue F. Pelletier 82, B-1030 Brussels Tel: +32 (0) 2 732 6900 Fax: +32 (0) 2 732 7072 Email: info@face.eu Web: www.face.eu

Rue de Trèves 67, B - 1040 Bruxelles Tel: +32 (0)2 234 30 00 Fax: + 32 (0)2 234 30 09 Email: elo@elo.org Web: www.elo.org

With the support of

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The Returm of the Wolf to the European Landscape - challenge and solutions  

The wolf is back! Around 10.000 wolves are currently living in the European Union´s landscapes, this number showing an upward trend. Extinct...

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