Tuesday 30 April 2019 | 11

Wolves threatened by the pressure from hunters

While advocating the “regulation of game animals”, hunters want to eliminate wolves who have the misfortune to eat “their own game”. When will we ever have a healthier relationship with animals who are free?

Hr blog

The return of wolves to France schematically divides hunters into three categories. The first, marginal, is that of those who refuse to shoot wolves, believing that these animals are apart, have a special aura and are not "game". We may be surprised by this radical categorization but it exists in the minds of some.

The second category of hunters are pleased with the return of the wolves, considering that it is an additional "game", whose "exceptional nobility" promises a more interesting hunt for the hunting parties. They arrange shooting permits issued by the state, giving them the impression of enjoying privileges as regards to a "protected" species.

Finally, hunters in the third category refuse the return of wolves, arguing that these "ferocious beasts" will eradicate "their game", that is to say the wild animals with hooves. These hunters advocate a “regulation” of wolves that hides the real desire to eradicate them, when we really know how scarce these animals are. Many local newspapers take up these arguments or rather the absence of arguments on these gun carriers. In the Alpes-Maritimes, a "group of anonymous hunters" recently spoke in the daily newspaper the Nice-Matin to proclaim the need to "regulate the wolves if we want to preserve our species". Leaders of hunting federations are accustomed to making such comments.

Wolves certainly eat deer, stags, chamois and other ungulates. It’s their staple food, like foxes eat voles, like dolphins eat fish. Who would have the crazy idea of wanting to "regulate" dolphins or orcas? Like them, wolves are self-regulating predators. In the wild, wolves do not proliferate any more than dolphins, orcas or sharks do.

That is to say that 500 wolves - the estimated number of wolves in France – who naturally kill for food will never have as much impact on nature as a million hunters who only kill for fun. Wolves certainly take their part, a vital one, by influencing the ungulate populations. However, they have never made them disappear. Prey and predators have co-evolved for hundreds of thousands of years. Wolves are part of European ecosystems, as are deer, stags, chamois and wild boar. Yet some would like to hunt them in national parks.

In France the department of Alpes-Maritimes is one of those which has the most wolves in the wild, around a hundred. With a very wide range, we can estimate that these wolves kill 2,000 wild ungulates each year for food. In comparison, at the same time, the 7,000 hunters in the department have officially killed 12,000 ungulates and several hundred thousand birds and other small animals.

For years, hunters have told us that "taking" (that is, slaughtering) is essential for the "regulation" of wild ungulates which, without hunters, "would proliferate". Now that a few wolves live in the country's forests, these same hunters suddenly forget the "proliferation" of ungulates to imagine only that of wolves. The authorities reinforce this madness by seeking to kill more and more wolves.

The 17 million hectares of French forest can accommodate many more wolves than of present, displeasing the hunters who want to own "game". It is high time to abandon this word, "Game" should not exist. There are only free animals, the property of no one. Wolves kill by vital necessity. They do not have the choice. Hunters kill for recreation. They have a choice. It was a hunter who killed in 2004 the last native bear in the Pyrenees, Cannelle. It is the hunters who today threaten the survival of the few lynxes still living in eastern France. These people must know that a forest without a wolf, without a bear, without a lynx is like an ocean without a dolphin, without an orca, without a shark. The hunters who want to eliminate wolves are like fishermen who hunt for dolphins, killer whales, they are like gravediggers amongst the living. Let's say it, they're criminals.

Hr blog

In the subject

At the Chimpanzee Conservation Centre in Guinea our closest cousins start to live again.
Solidarity Fund, Emergency Australia

Comments 11

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flobert | Thursday 23 July 2020

les éleveurs de nos plaines ne sont pas près de tolérer que des loups viennent perturber leurs troupeaux !! c'est une vision de bobo d'écolos des villes.introduisez les loups au bois de Boulogne mais pas dans nos campagnes...

MAGDALENA | Friday 10 May 2019

La nature se régule d'elle-même, sans intervention humaine. Mais la chasse, riche et puissante au sein des gouvernements, quelle que soit leur tendance, est un levier électoral.
Les politiques ne résistent pas au mirage, et tous ensemble se prosternent devant les chasseurs. Les loups, les renards, les blaireaux et tant d'autres sont scandaleusement éliminés par divers moyens souvent sordides car ils sont en rivalité avec les porteurs de fusils. Le gouvernement actuel vient de leur faire un rabais de 50 % du prix du permis !
Conclusion?

brisset tiherry | Sunday 05 May 2019

Bravo, je vous félicite pour votre article, c'est bien mené, c'est direct et clair. Merci, je suis avec vous, Thierry.

murgod2018 | Friday 03 May 2019

S'il n'y a plus de loups, il n'y aura plus de chasseurs de loups. Les chasseurs ne peuvent-ils comprendre cela? Leave wolves alone!