Wolf-culling season starts Monday and, while more wolf litters are expected to be born this year than last, overall numbers are slightly down, as are the number of attacks on livestock.
Margo Tannik, chief hunting specialist at the Environmental Board (Keskonnaamet) said that: "Wolves are still doing well in Estonia. Based on the current survey data, we have a concrete knowledge of 18 wolf litters across Estonia, while according to forecasts, there will be 24-26 wolf litters in Estonia this year."
"The current plan is based on at least 20 litters being maintained across mainland Estonia and distributed as evenly as possible between habitats suitable to wolves," he added.
The Environmental Board has set the wolf cull for this season at 50, which is less than last year, as, despite the healthy numbers, there are slightly fewer wolves in the wild this year.
The cull largely relates to attacks on livestock, which have numbered over 100 so far this year, though the number of sheep lost so far in attacks, at 306 is less than a third of 2020's figure (933).
A dozen cattle and five dogs have also been killed in wolf attacks.
The season runs November 1 to February 28, with stalking and ambush hunting the permissible means.
The cull is divided up among several zones, with figures set for four zones, and still to be established for the remainder.
The cull quota is seven in Harju County, and five in the Põlva-Tartu, Valga-Tartu and Võru districts.
The quotas for the Alam-Pedja, Hiiu, Saare, Pärnu-Viljandi, Viljandi-Valga and northern Lääne County zones are still to be set.
The board sets its figures based on damage data through the year and proposals from another state agency, the Environmental Agency (Keskkonnaagentuur), while the figure can be adjusted during hunting season where needed.
Editor: Andrew Whyte