The wolf is subject to attacks and killings in North Macedonia

Wolf in the Skopje zoo. Photo by Filip Stojanovski/Global Voices (CC BY).

This news is based on a original coverage by Meta.mk. We reproduce an edited version pursuant to a content sharing agreement between Global Voices and the Metamorphosis Foundation.

In North Macedonia, the wolf (Canis lupus) is often considered a pest and therefore culled, despite its key role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. It is one of the three large predators that inhabit the mountains of the country, along with the bear and the Balkan lynx, but it is the least protected.

Hunters are encouraged to hunt and kill the creature and even receive a monetary reward for killing it. However, environmental associations are warning about the decline in the wolf population, which can cause devastating impacts on the mountain ecosystem. There are currently an estimated 400 wolves in the forests of North Macedonia, which aside from being legal hunting prey, face several other threats, including hybridization with dogs.

1664875383 384 The wolf is subject to attacks and killings in North

Wolves captured in the Skopje zoo. Photo by Vasil Buraliev, used with permission.

Under the current hunting laws of North Macedonia, the wolf along with the fox, the marten, the weasel and many other animals and birds, are freely hunted by hunters, since there are no temporary or permanent prohibitions on their hunting. The Ministry of Agriculture also offers monetary rewards for killing “dangerous” wild animals. Hunters can earn around 50 euros (approximately US$50 based on current exchange rates) for killing a wolf.

Tell me Melovski of the Ecological Society of Macedonia He stated in a Meta.mk statement that “The law must change and the hunting of wolves must be limited through hunting bans because their population in the country is constantly declining.”

He points out that although permanent protection is not a good solution, the Government needs to establish hunting restrictions for certain periods. He also suggests setting limits that limit hunting, depending on the exact number of wolves on the hunting grounds. Melovski mentions that more sophisticated counting methods, such as genetic counting, should be applied since it is very likely that the current count of wolves is inaccurate and there will be duplication in the count, since the wolf lives and feeds in large territories. . He highlighted that:

We are perhaps among the last countries in Europe where the wolf is considered a pest and its killing is not limited, and there is a reward, moreover, which serves as an additional motivation for killing wolves, both for the hunters and for the cattle breeders.

Perhaps we are among the last countries in Europe where the wolf is considered a plague, there are no limits to kill them and there is a reward, plus it serves as additional motivation to kill wolves, for hunters and ranchers.

One of the biggest problems in initiatives to protect wolves, according to Melovski, is the open promotion of hunting tourism and the attraction of foreign hunters to the country, which must be stopped immediately. He pointed out that the lack of restrictions encourages the organization of hunting campaigns because foreign hunters in North Macedonia exclusively have the opportunity to shoot a wolf.

Wolves in North Macedonia mostly inhabit mountains and prefer forests, sometimes visiting low-lying agricultural areas near villages.

1664875384 411 The wolf is subject to attacks and killings in North

Along with the lynx and the bear, the wolf is the top predator in North Macedonia. Photo of young wolf at Skopje Zoo by Global Voices/Filip Stojanovski (CC BY 3.0).

According to Vojo Gogovski state adviser for forestry and hunting at the Ministry of Agriculture, the wolf population in the country is around 400 individuals and is stable. North Macedonia has the largest and oldest population of wolves in Europe. The count is carried out regularly, at least every ten years, within each hunting ground in the country. Gogovski explained in a statement to Meta.mk that:

For big game and small game there is a methodology for collecting data on the quantity that is accepted everywhere in Europe and in our country. A count or estimate of the number can be made, and based on it, the annual growth dynamics are defined. If there is a need, in five years or shorter, the planning documents can be revised.

For a large or small game there is a methodology to collect data on the quantity that is accepted anywhere in Europe and in our country. A count or an estimate of the number can be made, and based on that, the annual growth dynamics are defined. If there is any need in five years or less and planning documents can be reviewed.

The new hunting regulations are being prepared with the bill put in public consultation from April 2021. The published proposal continues to include the wolf among unprotected wild animals, and allows night hunting, the use of light reflectors, and also allows the Ministry of Farming deliver rewards.

At one point, the wolf was under protection, but Gogovski noted that at the time the population was out of control. Livestock were affected and numerous losses were attributed to the large wolf population. Though because there was no requirement to tag livestock, these figures are likely inflated because citizens could receive state compensation for wolf-related deaths. He stated that:

There is no one who cares more than us for the protection of the wolf. The real hunters take good care of animals. The population is stable, and that’s because we’re taking care of the game that is its food. But the number must be maintained at a certain level. So far, there has not been a case of the monetary reward being the motive for killing; instead, most often the motive has been the protection of the domestic livestock. I claim that there is no such thing as a classic wolf hunt.

There is no one who cares about the protection of the wolf more than us. The real hunters take care of the animals. The population is stable and that is because we are taking care of the game that is their food. But the number must be kept at a certain level. Until now, there has not been a case of monetary reward being a reason to kill; instead, most of the reasons were the protection of livestock. He stated that there is no such thing as a classic wolf hunt.

On August 13, on the occasion of World Wolf Day, the environmental organization Eko-svest (ecological awareness) called for precautionary measures to ensure that wolves stay in the forests where they belong. Environmentalists believe that although modern lifestyles often bring humans into conflict with wolves, they are necessary and invaluable in maintaining a balanced ecosystem. Their impact as predators change the behavior of other animals, protect forests from parasites, and even protect rivers from erosion and damage. in his statement points out:

The wolf in this country is placed in the near category threatened (NT). The reason for this is that it is considered harmful wild animal, so commercial hunting is organized throughout the year, and, also new infrastructure projects are fragmenting its habitats. According to the official estimates, over 400 individuals live in our country, but its population is not regularly monitored.

The wolf in this country is close to the category of “near threatened” (NT). The reason for this is that it is considered a harmful wild animal, which is why commercial hunting is organized throughout the year and so are new infrastructure projects that are fragmenting its habitat. According to official figures, around 400 specimens live in our country, but their population is not regularly monitored.

1664875384 923 The wolf is subject to attacks and killings in North

She-wolf lying in a hole she dug in the grounds of the Skopje Zoo. Photo by Vasil Buraliev, used with permission.

All over the world, the wolf is protected by three international conventionsthe Washington Convention (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora); then annexes II, IV and V of the Directive on habitats in the European Union and is listed as a strictly protected species in Annex II of the Bern Convention.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) ranks the wolf as the “least concern” in Europe, because, although it is threatened or vulnerable at the national level in several countries, it is increasing at the European level in numbers and in range. However, wolves are still legally hunted in several European countries that are not members of the European Union, including Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, North Macedonia and Albania. Wolf hunting is also a tourist attraction in many countries. Limited legal hunting is also practiced in Finland, Norway, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia.

We wish to give thanks to the writer of this write-up for this remarkable web content

The wolf is subject to attacks and killings in North Macedonia


You can find our social media profiles as well as other pages that are related to them.https://orifs.com/related-pages/