top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Plan lets wolf population grow 40% in 5 years

Government unveils scheme that will see wolf numbers reach 500 by 2023

France's wolf population will be allowed to grow 40% by 2023, despite protests from farmers, the government has confirmed.

As reported, the 'Wolf Plan' is intended to ensure the survival of the species in France, which was wiped out in the 1930s, and only returned in 1992 via Italy before spreading into Switzerland and Germany.

The plan allows for the wolf population to grow from an estimated 360 today to 500 in five years.

But the scheme has angered farmers, particularly in the Alps and Pyrenees regions, where wolf attacks on livestock have caused financial problems. Wolves were blamed for the deaths of an estimated 12,000 sheep in 2017, while damages paid out to farmers for livestock killed by wolves rose to €3.5million in 2016, the latest year for which figures are available, a rise of 60% compared in three years.

They have also been sighted in the Massif Central, home to France's biggest sheep breeders.

Environmentalists, however, argue that not enough is being done to help wolves - an animal protected under the Bern Convention, to which France is a signatory.

Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot’s proposal includes financial aid to help farmers protect their livestock, using electric fences and herding dogs.

Hunters in France would still be allowed to cull 40 wolves this year, the same as in 2017. That cull figure will be set at 10% of the wolf population every year from 2019, rising to 12% if wolf attacks become more frequent. And farmers will be able to shoot at wolves to defend their animals if necessary.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now