The harm caused to domestic animals and reindeer by wolves is clearly lower than in previous years
The harm caused to domestic animals and reindeer by wolves clearly decreased last year. The harm caused to domestic animals decreased the most, but the reported number of reindeer killed by wolves has also decreased.
Special Researcher Ilpo Kojola, Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, tel. 0400 292 098
Senior Inspector Jussi Laanikari, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, tel. 040 733 6229
Wolves have primarily killed dogs. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry paid compensation for 21 domestic animals that were killed in 2009; of these, 16 involved dogs. The amount is smaller than at any other time in the 21st century. The largest amount of loss occurred in 2006, when losses were altogether 68.
It had been reported that wolves killed 591 reindeer in 2009. The largest amount was in 2007, when the corresponding number was 1001 reindeer.
The most important reason for the decrease in damages is that the amount of wolves has diminished. This most unambiguously impacts the reindeer-herding region outside Finland, where the amount of damages correlates with the yearly assessment by the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute of the wolf population’s total numbers. However, the amount of damages for 2009 is smaller than would have been expected based on the estimated population. The Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute estimated that at the end of 2006 there was a minimum of 250 wolves in Finland. At the end of 2009, the estimate regarding wolves was 160 individuals.