Swiss authorities have authorized wildlife managers to kill three more wolves. Counts show that too many young wolves have been born in two cantons. Half of the young growth can be hunted every year.
In addition, federal authorities are also targeting the M92 leader of the pack in the Beverin nature reserve, "because of his particularly problematic behaviour". This pack has repeatedly caused great damage to livestock.
Last summer, two cows were attacked and mauled there. The canton prescribes that the sire M92 must be killed by the end of January at the latest because of his particularly problematic behaviour.
The conservation groups WWF, Pro Natura and the Wolf Schweiz group agreed "because it was clear that his behavior could no longer be changed," a statement said.
In addition, two young wolves of the Wannaspitz pack must be shot, the canton of Graubünden announced on Monday. The wolf hunt is taking place with the permission of the Federal Office for the Environment. Several young wolves from both packs had already been killed earlier this year.
Over the summer, wildlife managers were able to confirm higher numbers of puppies in the packs than the first observations suggested. Federal hunting laws allow up to half of these young animals to be killed as part of a pack arrangement.
Switzerland is a signatory to the Bern Convention (protection of the habitat of wild animals), but has not given the wolf (like the EU) the most protected status. Switzerland has drawn up rules and procedures in which exceptional cases may allow a wolf to be shot.
Wolf attacks on sheep, goats and cattle across Europe have been steadily increasing for decades. More than 17,000 wolves are currently registered across Europe.
European Environment Commissioner Sinkevicius emphasized in Brussels last month that the EU Habitats Directive does not need to be amended to contain the wolf population in the EU countries.