SGHN position on wolf protection

Last Friday 26 February finished the consultation period of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) on the inclusion of all wolf populations (Canis lupus) in the LESPRE (List of Wildlife Species under Special Protection Regime). SGHN took part in the consultation expressing its view in favour of including all Spanish populations of Canis lupus in the LESPRE for the following reasons:

  1. The wolf is a keystone species in ecosystems, which favours biodiversity creating a positive effect of trophic cascade.
  2. The inclusion of the wolf in the LESPRE would comply with the legal norm and with international conventions on biodiversity conservation (Law 42/2007, Habitats Directive, Berne Convention, CITES).
  3. According to the UICN criteria, Iberian wolf population is in the “Near-threated”, close to the “Vulnerable”, because of the fragmentation in management regimes, the absence of a population management plan, authorised or illegal hunting, roadkills and poison, which are causing an annual mortality which could be near the recruitment rate, impeding their natural dispersion.
  4. The strict protection of all wolf populations on the Iberian Peninsula is necessary, as is already the case for those south of the Douro and in Portugal.
  5. It is aligned with the sustainable development goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
  6. The lethal wolf controls by administrations detract the species before the society, give a feeling of bigger impunity to who violate the prohibition of killing it and increase deaths by poaching. Furthermore lethal wolf controls do not reduce damages to livestock (they even increase them) because of the de-structuring of wolf packs in relation to their social behaviour.
Excremento de lobo (Canis lupus) / Wolf (Canis lupus) excrement full of wild boar hairs (Sus scrofa)

Directorate General against Natural Heritage

Conversely, SGHN expresses its disgust at the attitude of the Chancellorship for the Environment, and specifically for the Directorate General of Natural Heritage for:

  • Not having the text of their allegations opposing inclusion of the wolf in the LESPRE consulted by the Galician Biodiversity Observatory (*).
  • Encouraging all municipalities of Galicia to subscribe to their allegations, even sending them the model to be submitted.

(*) The Galician Biodiversity Observatory is a consultative body constituted by officials of the autonomic administration, experts from the Galician universities and representatives of NGOs.

Text translated by Xoán Núñez Bazal (student of the Degree of Translation and Interpretation of the University of Vigo)