Master of Science Johanna Suutarinen
Faculty and research unit
University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Science, Ecology and Genetics Research Unit
Field of study
Date and time of the thesis defence
Place of the thesis defence
Linnanmaa, hall IT115
Topic of the dissertation
Ecology of lawbreaking. Effects of poaching on legally harvested wolf populations in human-dominated landscapes
Professor Marco Apollonio, University of Sassari, Italy
Research Professor Ilpo Kojola, Natural Resources Institute Finland
Effects of poaching on legally harvested wolf populations in human-dominated landscapes
Illegal killing or poaching of wolves in human-inhabited areas where wolves are also legally harvested is a special case of wildlife crime. This doctoral thesis examines wolf poaching in Finland and Sweden from the ecological perspective.
Poaching seemed to limit the study populations despite the management efforts that used legal hunting as a tool to increase tolerance towards wolves. Poaching outnumbered other causes of death.
Other causes of death were legal harvest, traffic and natural mortalities. Larger population size increased and the number of legally harvested wolves decreased poaching in both countries.
Remoteness to human inhabitation and the detectability of the wolves from the forest roads increased the likelihood of poaching in Finland.
Adult wolves suffered high risk of poaching in both populations. Risk was highest in early spring in Finland. Inbreeding was not related to the disappearances of adult wolves in Sweden.
The first paper examines the causes of mortality among collared Finnish wolves and the role of estimated poaching rates on population changes.
The second paper related the likelihood of being poached to covariates expressing different dimensions of the wolf conflict at two spatial scales (territory and country level) in Finland.
Third paper turns the focus to Sweden, and examines the disappearances of adult wolves in relation to population size, legal harvest and inbreeding.
The first two studies were done in collaboration with the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and the third with the Scandinavian Wolf Research Project SKANDULV.
Last updated: 18.4.2019