Leon, Spain, Oct 28 (EFE).- The northwestern Spanish communities of Castile and Leon, Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria have broken ranks with the national government in Madrid and set up a separate taskforce to flesh out a strategy to manage populations of the Iberian wolf.
Calling the approach by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge “a total failure”, the four regions — which are home to 98% of Spain’s wolf population — have distanced themselves from the ministry and come up with their own wolf management plan.
With this alternative group, director general of Biodiversity, Environment and Climate Change for Castile and Leon, José Ángel Arranz said, “the aim is to move forward with a strategy that will allow us to manage the Iberian wolf populations in a coherent way”.
He explained that the first step will be to elaborate an updated census of the species to know “what population we have” and from there to lay “solid foundations” on which to build the strategy that will allow the wolf to coexist with extensive livestock farming and maintain its current conservation status, which is “favorable”.
The wolf population in these four regions has grown by seven percent in recent years thanks to conservation efforts by the regional governments, director for Biodiversity, Environment and Climate Change of the Government of Cantabria, Antonio Javier Lucio, said.
“It is a species that has no conservation risk. We manage wolves, we don’t kill wolves. Controlling the species is part of that management,” he stressed. EFE