Finnish Wolf Debate

The Finnish grey wolf is a subject of much debate amongst conservationists and locals who have to deal with environmental damage caused by the wolves. Although the population has significantly declined over the last few years, some argue that the wolves are hurting reindeer husbandry, the use of hunting dogs, and cattle and sheep farming.

Wolves generally have a negative bias toward them. People are fearful not only for their own lives, but those of their pets and livestock. According to reports, wolves killed a large number of people in the 18th and 19th centuries but since then, there have been minimal reported attacks or attempted attacks on humans by wolves. Wolf attacks in Europe are very rare due to human induced environmental changes, a reduction in rabies and historical persecution making wolves more fearful toward humans.

Proponents of the Finnish wolf argue that there should be regulations on hunting the wolves, while others argue that hunting wolves should stop altogether. They believe that efforts should be placed on spreading out the population of wolves since the majority is concentrated in Eastern Finland. Those involved in reindeer husbandry are the most outspoken on the issue due to the fact that reindeer industry is their livelihood. Reindeer husbandry covers about one third of the total area of Finland. Excluding modern man, the wolf is the most widely distributed land mammal that has ever lived.

Today, wolf populations all over the world suffer from habitat loss, poaching, and more. Which side of the debate do you stand on?