After many years of overkilling the species, wolves are all but extinct in France. Now, however, lawmakers are looking to change that.
The Independent reports on a new proposal by France’s environment minister Nicolas Hulot, who wishes to reintroduce native wolf species to the countryside and set stricter limits on culling their populations.
In his plan, wolf populations would be expected to grow by about 40% following its beginning, hoping to increase the wild wolf population to at least 500 within the next few years. To facilitate this, farmers would only be allowed to cull 10% of the total population every year to protect their livestock, as anything done to help the species would amount to little if people were still allowed to kill them with impunity.
To combat complaints sure to come from farmers, the plan earmarks money specifically to help them keep the new wolves from attacking their livestock. These contingencies include the installation of new electric fences around farms and the breeding and training of herding dogs to protect sheep while they graze in the countryside.
Despite nearly being wiped out across the continent only a few centuries ago, Europe has seen a natural resurgence in wolves in the last several years. Slovenia, Belgium, and Denmark, as well as France, are some of the countries who have been lucky enough to have this happen, all of them doing what they can to help this trend continue.
While their reputation may peg them as vicious killers, wolves play a very important part in their ecosystem. Without the presence of wolves to naturally control the population of deer species, many of them have grown uncontrollably across Europe, ravaging the countryside in search of food in an effort to sustain their unsustainable populations.
This resolution has not been put into action and still needs review from other government officials before anything will be done. With any luck, though, France should begin to see a much healthier ecosystem emerge in its farmlands within the next few years.