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Report, 2015

An updated synthesis on appropriate science-based criteria for "favourable reference population" of the Scandinavian wolf (Canis lupus) population

Liberg, Olof; Chapron, Guillaume; Wikenros, Camilla; Flagstad, Öystein; Wabakken, Petter; Sand, Håkan

Abstract

This report provides an updated synthesis on appropriate science-based criteria for "favourable reference population" FRP for the Scandinavian wolf (Canis lupus) population and present quantitative values on FRP. The assignment was given by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency to the SKANDULV research group at Grimsö, SLU, Sweden. A thorough review of the ecology and genetics of the wolf population is provided, including measurements of inbreeding depression in the population. Results from earlier MVP analyses of the Scandinavian wolf population are presented, as are former suggestions of FRP or other management goals for the population. A consensus was not possible to achieve among all involved scientist, the results are therefore presented in two different parts. OL, CW, øF, PW and HS suggest that the population value for FRP should be 340 for Scandinavia, and 300 for Sweden. They argue that this Scandinavian sub-population should be connected to a larger meta-population with the minimum size of Ne=500, corresponding to approximately 1700 wolves, and the connection should be minimum one immigrant from the large meta-population to the Scandinavian wolf population per generation. They acknowledge a meta-population that includes also wolves living outside of EU territory, as long as there is the stipulated connectivity. GC evaluated FCS based on a strict interpretation of Habitats Directive informed by previous rulings by the European Court of Justice and documents from the European Commission. He finds that if Sweden cannot include wolves from outside its national territory to fulfill its obligations under the Habitats Directive, FCS will be achieved at 1700 wolves (Ne=500) or at the country carrying capacity. If on the contrary Sweden can include wolves living in a separate population from another country to fulfill its obligations under the Habitats Directive, FCS will be achieved at half the country carrying capacity (preliminarily estimated at 1200/2=600 wolves) or more according to the connectivity naturally achieved. Non EU Member States cannot contribute to this meta-population. There was consensus between all researchers that the target for the population inbreeding coefficient should be 0.2 or lower.

Keywords

Skandinavien; referenspopulation; vargar

Published in


Publisher: Grimsö Wildlife Research Station, Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Flagstad, Öystein
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)
Wabakken, Petter
Hedmark University College
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology

UKÄ Subject classification

Zoology
Ecology

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/69877