LIFE BOREALWOLF conveys information about wolves and their behaviour, promotes local interaction and provides tools for the prevention of adverse impact and losses caused by wolves.
The coexistence of people and wolves in specific regions causes concerns, fears and, occasionally, also losses of dogs and domestic animals. Strong opinions and emotions are associated with wolves, and discussions easily become heated, especially in social media.
The wolf is a threatened species in Finland, and the wolf population is not at a favourable protection level. Reaching a vital wolf population is a challenge if people feel that they cannot coexist with wolves.
Three goals of the LIFE BOREALWOLF project:
- The project reduces any negative impact associated with the presence of wolves, such as fears, concerns and any losses of dogs and domestic animals.
- The project increases the acceptability of wolves in society.
- The project develops tools for wolf population management, such as preventing the illegal killing of wolves.
What does the coexistence of people and wolves mean?
The LIFE BOREALWOLF project aims to improve the coexistence of people and wolves. Coexistence means living in the same areas so that it causes as little negative impact as possible on both people and wolves. Human coexistence with large carnivores requires that people are provided with information and support.
Wolves are not intended to live in inhabited yard areas. Here, inhabited yard areas mean maintained and regularly used outdoor areas of residential and production buildings. In other words, coexistence does not mean that people should live with wolves in their own yards.
What does coexistence mean? For example, it means that people contact the correct authorities if they discover wolf tracks in their yard and if this concerns them. It also means that people are able to identify what attracts wolves and remove the attracting things from their yard. Well-functioning cooperation between citizens, contact people for large carnivores and appropriate authorities ensures that wolves are monitored, their visits to yards are prevented actively and proper responses are made to repeated visits before wolves cause any danger.
LIFE BOREALWOLF is a joint project of five parties
The Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) is the project coordinator. Luke ensures that the project proceeds as planned, monitors project activities and takes care of reporting, financial management and communication. Furthermore, Luke develops DNA monitoring and modelling tools for population management and participates in the development of a network of contact people for large carnivores.
The Finnish Wildlife Agency focuses specifically on the prevention of losses and cooperation in wolf regions. For example, it develops the network of contact people for large carnivores and territory cooperation groups. The Finnish Wildlife Agency’s LIFE BOREALWOLF planners cooperate with people living in wolf regions in the prevention of losses.
Metsähallitus is responsible for events held for media representatives and participates in communication activities and the prevention of the illegal killing of wolves. A game warden from Metsähallitus forms the other member of the two-person patrol working in Eastern Finland.
The Eastern Finland Police Department plays a central part in the prevention of the illegal killing of wolves. A police officer is the other member of the two-person patrol working in Eastern Finland.
The Uusimaa district of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation will arrange media events and school visits in the Western Uusimaa region in 2021 and 2022.
Each of these parties has their own areas of responsibility, while they work in close cooperation within the scope of each theme. The LIFE BOREALWOLF project employs some 50 people, seven of whom are full-time project employees.
The LIFE BOREALWOLF project started on 1 October 2019, and it will end on 30 September 2025.
The project has received funding from the EU LIFE programme (LIFE BOREALWOLF, LIFE18 NAT/FI/000394). The project is also funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of the Environment and the project organisations. The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) funds activities that aim to protect domestic animals and prevent any losses.
|EU LIFE programme||EUR 3,017 million|
|Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry||EUR 720,000|
|Ministry of the Environment||EUR 50,000|
|Project organisations||EUR 1,697 million|
|Total||5.513 EUR million|
* MTK funds activities that aim to protect domestic animals and prevent any losses.