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электронный журнал "Новые исследования Тувы"

Wolf hunting in Tuva continues

During the past month, wolf hunts killed 56 of the grey predators in Tuva. Total number of wolves killed this year is 91. During the entire last year, 193 of the grey predators’ pelts were handed in. The head of the hunting and fishing commission, Alexander Novikov reported these facts to Premier of Tuva, Sholban Kara-ool, at an administrative meeting involving the representatives of the districts.

According to the findings of a census of wild animals, the wolf population in Tuva reached 2117 individuals – this is approximately three times higher than scientifically determined sustainable norm of animal spread.

The experts of hunting science believe that one of the main reasons for this increase in wolf population is the fact that poisons, which earlier were one of methods of controlling wolves, are no longer used. The ministry of agriculture and herding reports that in 2009, in the herding sector, wolves caused total losses of more than 11 million rubles.

And that, the experts say, are only the “documented” events, when the losses count in dozens of heads of domestic livestock, and the herders have to ask for help. The most recent of these events transpired in Mongun-Taiga district in the middle of January, when a pack of wolves attacked a herd in Kargy, and in a few minutes killed 32 sheep, which represented one tenth of the whole herd. Less serious losses, involving 3-4 heads, usually go unreported by the herders. However, there are hundreds of this type of attack on livestock in one year, and add up to huge numbers, comparable to mass cattle deaths.

This winter the wolves have been especially aggressive. This is not just the effect of population increase. The hunters believe that this abnormally hard, snowy winter forced the wolves to leave their taiga dens and normal hunting territories. The wolves’ usual wild prey animals have left the forests, and the grey packs followe them out to the steppe. Dzun-Khemchik, Kaa-Khem, Kyzyl, Tes-Khem, Erzin and Mongun-Taiga districts have especially dense wolf populations.

Out of the 56 wolves killed, the largest number, 8, is credited to the hunters of Pii-Khem kozhuun, and Erzin, Kaa-Khem, Todza, Bai-Taiga districts each contributed 4.

This year, the government has almost doubled the rewards to hunters for wolves – 5 thousand rubles for a wolf, and 7 thousand for an adult female., translated by Heda Jindrak
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