Monday, February 1, 2010

Hunters help nature?

Gun lovers exists everywhere...sure, the worst case of gun addiction can be found in the United States, but the 'Sarah Palin' disease also exists in certain european countries (luckily it is somewhat less worse and less propagated).

But swedish hunters recently got a chance to have some serious 'fun'. They got a chance to go out and kill some wolves, with disastrous consequences.

Sweden to import wolves

It might be necessary for Sweden to import wolves soon. Yes, you read that right! As is again demonstrated: hunters are great "protecters" of nature! What would we do without Palin, Dick Cheney and their hordes and hordes of kindred souls everywhere across the globe? (something we can only dream of)

Earlier this month, Sweden staged the country's first licensed wolf hunt for over four decades, allowing a total quota of 27 wolves to be shot - a little more than 10 per cent of the total Scandinavian wolf population.

For starters: the hunters were allowed to kill 27 wolves, but of course they managed to kill more. Ok 1 more, but out of a population of only about 200 - 250 wolves in that entire country. When dealing with such small numbers, every wolf counts from a preservation perspective (and of course every wolf counts from an animal rights perspective!).

To me, it is a miracle that 'only' 28 wolves got killed. It could have been a lot more, as becomes clear when reading swedish newspapers.

Wolves had 4500 hunters after them

Licensjakten på varg lockade ut runt 4.500 jägare i skog och mark. Cirka 12.000 jägare hade registrerat sig hos Naturvårdsverket för vargjakt, men alla deltog inte i jakten.

For those of you that don't understand swedish: it says that 12000 hunters had themselves registered to participate in this hunt. In the end, 4500 got to join in to kill only a handful of wolves out of a very small population. And all of these animals were perfectly healthy (the hunt was meant to kill the 'weaker' animals).

Sweden on Thursday announced plans to inject fresh blood into its wolf population that is threatened by inbreeding, including possible import of 20 wolves in coming years.

First shoot them, and then when people had their fun: recognize that there suddenly is a problem and import some new! I find this mindblowing, but this was to be expected.

It was clear - to me - that nothing the hunters said to defend their hunt made any sense.

According to an article from hunters pay most of the scientific research out there on wildlife (like the US or Canada?):

Politikers beslut om jaktfrågor grundar sig delvis på forskning om viltfrågor. Men alla känner inte till att jägarna själva finansierar merparten av all viltforskning i Sverige. Allmänna medel står för mindre än en fjärdedel.

So, politicians take their decisions based 'partly' on scientific research. But the hunters themselves finance the majority of all research in this area. Funny that we are always 'biased' according to hunters, while they are exactly what they claim we are.

What depresses me, is that they always get away with it. They can do anything they want, and remain unscarred. At least here in europe there is somewhat of a backlash because of this, including scientists who openly distanced themselves from this hunt. This gives me some hope, especially when I read about similar cases in the US or Canada, where we are simply branded as extremists by default.