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Saturday 19.08.2017 | Name days: Melānija, Imanta
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Animal of the year – Grey wolf

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUGrey wolf (Canis lupus) has been declared Animal of the Year 2014 by representatives of Latvian Museum of Natural History.

Vilnis Bernards of Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry’s nature Protection Department notes the Grey wolf is one of the most controversial animals in the world. It is proudly featured on different coats of arms. However, this animal also suffered an entire age of extermination in Western Europe.

Public relations specialist of Latvian Museum of Natural History Polīna Šķiņķe admits human have plenty of fears in regard to wolves. Even children know it is a very dangerous animal. She also says it is important to think of this animal that is vital to the preservation of biodiversity and an altogether beautiful animal.

According to Bernards it is not necessary for an animal to be rare and endangered in order to be given the title of Animal of the Year. He did say that it is important to pay attention to species that are still with us.

Deputy Director of Latvian Museum of Natural History Guna Bagrade notes the choice of the ‘Animal of the Year’ was partially influenced by the introduction of euro and Riga’s status as Europe’s Cultural Capital of 2014. It is believed the Grey wolf is an animal of the European Union.

Lead researcher of Silava Latvian State Forest Research Institute Jānis Ozoliņš notes Latvia;s residents need to learn more about wolves and their habits, so that they come to terms with the thought of ‘living with wolves’.

Ozoliņš said the Grey wolf is a protected animal in Latvia. However, unlike in other countries of the European Union, it is allowed to hunt wolves in Latvia and other Baltic countries. He commented how this adds additional responsibility to make sure the population of wolves does not decline sharply. Researchers regularly come up with conservation plans to make sure this does not happen.

Head of the State Forest Service Hunting Department Valters Lūsis says wolves do not compete with hunters over prey. He said hunters are generally interested in preserving wolves as a species. Hunters help wolves develop fear for humans, so that they steer clear of them and avoid contact, especially potentially dangerous contact.

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