Collared wolves are an easy catch for poachers. They have been hunted by dozens in the last couple of decades as they can be easily traced and with little delay by having access to the internet.
The extent of poaching of collared wolves is not a surprise for Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, who is in charge of managing the wolf population.
Johanna Suutarinen, a Ph.D. student at the University of Oulu, says that collared wolves have a higher risk of being illegally killed. A wolf wearing a radar collar can be a trophy of sorts. The collar is a lure or a target against which one can vent their hatred towards wolves, Suutarinen reckons.
Tens of collared wolves have been hunted in Finland between 1998 and 2014. According to the Suuutarinen’s thesis, 52 of the 91 collared wolves found dead during that period were poached.
The tracing of the wolves with collars will be more difficult in the next few years, as the Finnish Natural Resources Center is almost completely abandoning this system. Tracking will be done from now on mainly with DNA tracking, for example by examining their stools.