Finland’s wolf population is currently estimated to be between 185 and 205 specimens, according to a report complied by Luke, the National Resources Institute Finland.
In March of last year, the institute estimated the total number of wolves in Finland to be at 165-190 and around 150-180 wolves in 2017.
Numbers increase in the east
The report said that the number of packs has fallen in the west of Finland; down to 13 from last year’s 16. There were significantly less wolves found in the areas of North Satakunta and South Ostrobothnia, around the city of Seinäjoki, in south-western Finland.
However, this decline was counter-balanced by a rise in the number of packs in the east, from eight to eleven. The presence of wolves in eastern regions was concentrated around the areas of Kainuu, North Karelia and northern Savo.
In the reindeer-herding areas of northern Finland, there were only two reported sightings of wolves during that 12 month period.
Luke’s report also detailed how the number of wolves fluctuated significantly over the course of a year.
Wolf populations usually peak during April and May, following the birth of many wolf pups. By the end of May, the wolf population is usually at its maximum, but then starts to quickly decrease due to the high mortality rate of the pups.
In Finland, young wolves usually leave their native pack in the spring, when they are about one year old, and may walk up to a thousand kilometers from their birthplace in search of a mating partner and breeding area.
Related stories from around the North:
Finland: Finland’s wolf population has exploded… but winter is coming, Yle News
Norway: Polar bear shot dead after attacking person on Svalbard, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: Sweden’s wolf numbers slide, illegal hunting blamed, Radio Sweden
United States: Trump admin pushes for looser rules on predator hunting in Alaska, Alaska Public Media