WASHINGTON, D.C.—Yesterday, Romania’s Minister of Environment, Water, and Forests (MMAP) Cristiana Pașca Palmer announced a decision to ban trophy hunting of brown bears, grey wolves, lynx, and wild cats, saving an estimated 1,691 animals from becoming trophies. Romania’s virgin forests are home to most of Europe’s remaining large carnivores, and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) commends Romania’s precautionary move to protect these species from the threat of hunting.
“Europe’s remaining large carnivores are under incredible stress from the threat of habitat loss from illegal logging, and need all the help they can get,” said Allan Thornton, president of EIA. “EIA welcomes Romania’s decision to increase protections for most of Europe’s remaining brown bears, grey wolves, lynx, and wild cats.”
In the past five years, at least 1,394 brown bears, 967 wolves, 240 lynx, and 1360 wild cats have been shot for trophies. Hunting these species has been technically banned for the past nine years under the EU Habitats Directive, but every year since 2007 the Romanian government has authorized a limited amount of hunting, supposedly as a means of population control. Environmentalists have questioned the scientific validity and methodology of these studies, which have been shown to substantially overestimate the populations of these species. Instead of killing, the government has established a new emergency program for relocating and otherwise dealing with problem animals.
Learn more about EIA’s work to protect Romania’s forests here.
Maggie Dewane, Communications and Press Officer, EIA, 202-483-6621, [email protected]
Photo credit: Potozky Laszlo