ECJ Judgement: No Relaxation of Protection for Wolves

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has placed very tight constraints on the granting of permits allowing wolves to be shot. In their ruling on 10 October, the judges concluded that stringent conditions must first be met before any wolves are killed.

In some parts of Europe wolf populations are growing. Relaxing the measures which protect them could, however, put many wolf populations at risk again – this makes the ECJ judgement all the more important!

© Wolf Steiger

Anti-wolf propaganda in Europe has increased significantly in recent years, in parallel to the animals recolonising their former habitat. In Finland, for example, the country’s environmental authorities had been issuing hunting licenses permitting the shooting of wolves since 2015. A Finnish nature conservation organisation consequently filed a complaint with the ECJ, and has now won its case.

In their ruling, the judges in Luxembourg pointed to the strict conditions of the EU Habitats Directive (under which the wolf is protected) and concluded that any culling must be carried out in a selective and targeted manner. In Europe, wolves may only be shot if the authorities are able to demonstrate a clear objective for doing so, and, if it can be proven that the culling is to be undertaken in pursuit of that objective. This would apply, for instance, where there have been repeated attacks on grazing animals despite there being measures in place to protect livestock.

Magdalena Kulisch, wolf conservationist at EuroNatur, responded positively to the ECJ ruling: “With this judgement, calls for a relaxation of the strict measures protecting wolves have been clearly dismissed. General culling, for which there are also sometimes calls in Germany, does not comply with the law.”

News

Mother bear murdered in Montenegro

Poachers in Montenegro have shot dead the mother of two young brown bear cubs - a particularly dramatic case of wildlife crime, which has seen a…

Wolf population in West Poland still not secure despite growth in numbers

A long-term study on the spread of wolves into West Poland, which has just been published, makes clear that, despite the continuing growth in numbers…

Boom in illegal trade in animals in Albania

Despite a ban on hunting, numerous wild animals are being killed or traded in Albania; stuffed Balkan lynx, brown bears in cages, wild game on the…

“Bear Killer Gang” sentenced

In northern Spain, members of an organised group of poachers from the province of Palencia were convicted - an important success for bear protection.

Female Balkan lynx fitted with tracking device

Our partners from the North Macedonian nature conservation organisation MES have fitted a Balkan lynx with a tracking device. The female, named…

EU becomes active for Romania's primeval forests

EU announces legal action against Romania for illegal logging of Europe’s last natural forests.

 

ECJ Judgement: No Relaxation of Protection for Wolves

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has placed very tight constraints on the granting of permits allowing wolves to be shot. In their ruling on 10…

New home in Croatia for Romanian lynx

Doru, a four-year-old lynx from the Romanian Carpathians, has been released back into the wild in the Risnjak National Park in Croatia. Doru is the…

Reunited with Maya

On 18 March last year, a female Balkan lynx called Maya was fitted with a tracking device. Over the past year, this has been providing scientists from…

Mavrovo-Nationalpark: Demand for a halt to construction of hydroelectric power plants

Bern Convention: Macedonian government requested to halt construction of hydropower plants in national park

Ray of hope for Balkan Lynx

The Balkan Lynx has to be strictly protected as a distinct subspecies of the Eurasian Lynx. This decision has been adopted unanimously at the meeting…

New blood for lynxes on the Balkans

Three lynxes caught by camera trap in Albania and Macedonia

Joy of motherhood for Maya

Great news from Macedonia: a baby Balkan lynx has been born! This is the first time scientists have succeeded in taking pictures of lynx young, since…

Maya’s new necklace

In Macedonia’s Stogovo mountain range, nature conservationists have succeeded in catching a female Balkan lynx and fitting her with a tracking device.…

A heart for Europe’s last paradise forests

The Romanian biologist and campaigner Gabriel Paun will receive the EuroNatur Award 2016 in about two weeks for his exemplary work to protect…