New plan to protect wolves and control their number2014-09-22
A Wolf Protection Plan approved by the Minister of Environment, Kęstutis Trečiokas, took effect last week. Designed to protect and control the wolf population, this important document was developed by the task force formed by the Minister which included representatives from the ministries of environment and agriculture, researchers, the Baltijos vilkas nature protection association and hunting and farming associations.
“The new plan will finally shut the door to speculations about the wolves’ situation in our country which appear in the public domain from time to time and to discussions whether or not it should be allowed to hunt them, etc. In addition, specific measures have been defined to protect wolves and to control their numbers along with conditions of when these measures can be applied,” Vice-minister for environment, Linas Jonauskas, said.
The Wolf Protection Plan covers not only hunting and keeping records on these animals, as the previous Wolf Population Control Plan approved in 2012 and replaced by the new plan did, but also other protection and control measures. These include protection of farmed animals and compensation of damage caused to them, minimisation of disturbance of wolves, research, etc. The plan takes into account the threats to the wolf population and offers ways to prevent or reduce them.
The abundance of the wolf population in all the three Baltic states is controlled by defining a shooting quota for each hunting season. The quota system was introduced in 2002 in Estonia, in 2004 in Latvia and in 2005 in Lithuania. In our country, the Minister of Environment will approve a shooting quota for the new wolf hunting season starting on the 15th of October already according to the new Wolf Protection Plan.
The plan envisages a goal to have a population of 250-500 wolves spread across most of the country’s entire area. Based on the figures of the footmark-based calculations of the wolf population carried out over the last decade, Lithuania is home to at least 200-300 wolves.
Public information division