Knocked for a Loup

It’s sad to see the inexorable decline of Comrade Wolf:  not only is he doing poorly in the United States and its slowly dwindling sphere of influence, but news from Finland indicates that he’s no longer thriving in the boreal forest that has been his ancestral home.

Any mammalian biologist worth her salt lick will probably tell you that this has a lot to do with the shrinking size of reindeer herds in the White Sea littoral, but it’s certainly not encouraging to learn that wolves are no longer migrating from Russia to the west.   I guess Nokia just isn’t hiring these days.

The Bad News:

The size of the Kainuu wolf population was estimated at 29–37 animals, a decrease of about 50% compared with the previous year.

The Good News:

The population size of the lynx was estimated at 140–190 individuals, including 23–31 litters. This estimation is over 40% higher than the 2007 estimate.

Related News:

Mountain hare populations have declined in most of Finland.  The normal population cycles seem to remain only in the game management districts of Lappi, Oulu, Kainuu and Keski-Suomi.  In all other areas the population has significantly decreased (mean 42%) from 1989–1993 to 2003–2007 …  Mortality rate of hares was highest and reproduction rate rather high in a declining population.  Therefore the high mortality rate seems to be responsible for the decline in hare numbers.

Takeaway Lesson:

Comrade Wolf needs an increase in populations of docile reindeer and timid hares in order to prosper.  That doesn’t seem to be happening in Finland, or in the United States either.


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