An assessment by Luke – the Natural Resources Institute Finland – put the number of wolves in Finland in early March 2017 at 150 to 180 individuals.
The wolf population is estimated to comprise 42 packs. Around 15 per cent of the population consists of lone wolves. In late February 2016, Luke estimated that the population consisted of 200 to 235 wolves.
Statements by Luke on its assessments of population size are available at Riistahavainnot.fi (in Finnish).
Research lays the foundation for the management of the wolf population
Luke assesses the size of the wolf population early each year. Before a proper assessment is produced, interim reports may be published on the number of packs and number of individuals within them. The Natural Resources Institute Finland also investigates the age and gender distribution of the wolf population, as well as its genetic make-up. In addition to information on wolf behaviour such as food, travel patterns and habitat, coexistence between wolves and humans is an important study area.
Research results lay the foundation for the management of the wolf population. Such information is used when decisions are taken on the hunting and protection of the wolf population. International obligations, such as the EU Habitats Directive, require that the size of the wolf population be monitored. Luke also produces information on wolves in order to assess the degree of endangeredness of Finnish fauna.
With regard to large carnivores, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is the leading and highest supervisory authority in Finland. The Finnish Wildlife Agency is charged with implementing Finland’s game policy, promoting sustainable game management and providing support for local regional game councils.
Photo on top of the page: Ville Heikkinen / Vastavalo.fi