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Finland's Wolf Population Sees Up to 50 Percent Growth This Year

posted Apr 9, 2019, 8:29 PM by chloe owens

11/8/2018, by Uutiset

Finland’s wolf population sees up to 50 percent growth this year

Finland’s wolf population may have spiked by as much as 50 percent since last spring, according to the Natural Resources Institute (Luke). On Thursday the agency unveiled a new prediction model that it has developed. The system estimates that there could now be more than 300 wolves in the country, up from an estimate of around 200 last spring…Eastern Finland has traditionally been considered the stronghold of the country’s wolf population, but in recent years the animal has spread into the western region of Ostrobothnia as well as the south-west. According to Luke data, most of the new territories being occupied by wolf pairs are in western Finland. The region is popular among wolves because of the rich availability of prey, says Research Professor Ilpo Kojolaof Luke. "Western Finland has suitable areas for wolves and a denser population of European elk. In the south and south-west there are white-tailed deer and roe deer, which are rare in eastern Finland,” Kojola tells Yle…The impending winter is a tough time for the wild canines. Malnutrition, illnesses and parasites decimate their stocks. Meanwhile both legal hunting – allowed under limited conditions – and poaching are easier when the animals’ tracks are visible in the snow. Therefore Mäntyniemi expects the population to shrink back to last spring’s level in early 2019.