Slovakia bans Wolf hunting on the Slovak side of the Eastern Carpathians

| January 6, 2014 | Reply

Although wolves (and other predators) are recovering in some parts of Europe (e.g. Germany) they are still far from reaching ecologically significant population levels in many parts of Europe.
Hunting of wolves in areas with small or declining populations should be avoided because this can seriously impact recovery. Wolves already suffer many other human caused mortality problems like illegal poaching or collisions with cars on busy roads.

As Rewilding Europe reports Slovakia has banned Wolf hunting on the Slovak side of the Eastern Carpathians.
According to Rewilding Europe, “This is the first positive step in the restoration and protection of the wolf population in the Carpathians.”.

Wolves play an important role in ecosystems, e.g. by keeping deer numbers low and reducing pressure on plants. This again might benefit other animals, e.g. songbirds that nest in bushes that would have been eaten by deer if their population was too high.

For a good overview of the importance of top predators like wolves on biodiversity, I recommend reading the wonderful book The Wolf’s Tooth by Christina Eisenberg and the more technical but equally interesting Trophic Cascades: Predators, Prey, and the Changing Dynamics of Nature edited by John Terborgh and James E. Estes, two leading experts in the field.

Also have a look at the many published articles (available as PDF) from the Trophic Cascades Program from Oregon State University.

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Category: canines, conservation

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