Wolves and other large carnivores were near extinction or extinct in several countries in Europe by the early 1900s.

In Finland, wolves continued to be freely hunted until 1973 and only few individuals were roaming in boreal forests. When Finland became a member state of the European Union in 1995, wolves became a protected species in Finland.

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From The Helsinki Times in Finland:

THE POSITION TAKEN by the European Court of Justice on hunting as a tool to manage wolf populations is a setback for Finland, views Jari Leppä (Centre), the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.

“The stricter-than-expected ruling on wolf hunting for population management purposes was a major setback,” he wrote on Facebook on Monday.

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From TheGuardian:

Conservation groups have raised concerns over Finland’s wild wolf population after a new census found numbers far below those regarded as naturally sustainable.

Data from the Finnish National Resources Institute show there are currently only about 150 to 180 wolves living in Finland, where the government awards licenses to hunt the animals.

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