During the course of the previous winter, wolves have wandered from continental Finland to the Åland islands. Wolf packs have tried to settle in the islands before, but they have always been shot. As there are many alternatives to protect people and domestic animals from any possible damage caused by wolves, the Finnish organisation Wolf Action Group is calling on the Provincial Government of Åland to stop the culling of wolves.
The grey wolf is a strictly protected species in the whole of Europe and the same EU directive on the protection of species applies in Åland. However, the islands´ autonomic government wants to change the law. If this happens, it would be permissible to kill a wolf suspected of threatening domestic animals and informing the police once the wolf has already been killed would be enough.
The Åland islands markets itself as a nature reserve and a great holiday destination, nonetheless, they have been recently taken to the European Courts for allowing the shooting of birds in spring.
Wolves should either be allowed to live as part of the Åland´s nature, or be anesthetized and relocated to, for example, Sweden or Finland. The latter would also help the Scandinavian wolf population as they are in severe need of new genetic influx. The expansion of wolves to the west is also a result of the impossibility for them to move towards the north, given the zero tolerance policy to predators enforced in the reindeer-herding areas of north of Finland and Scandinavia.
Do you want to have your say and support a ban on the culling of wolves in the Åland islands? Click here to write to the Åland Provincial Government and demand that they let the wolves live one way or the other.