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The wolf is a protected species by Portuguese Law since 1988. Nevertheless, an increasing number of animals are being found dead in illegal traps. Recently, two wolves were found dead, up in Northwest Portugal, at Paredes de Coura. This situation has attracted great national media attention.


These traps, usually intended to capture and control other animals that may destroy crops, such as wild boars, end up catching wolves causing their death. This scenario seriously concerns all the responsible authorities, since it may have severe consequences for wolf packs’ conservation. In fact, a male wolf that was currently being monitored by a CIBIO-InBIO research team at Paredes de Coura was killed in an illegal trap, last April, after 18 scarce days of monitoring since capture. According to Helena Rio Maior, the presence of this male wolf, supposedly the breeding male of this pack, would generate some reproductive stability that was compromised precisely due to this illegal mortality caused by traps.


Portugal has already proposed an Action Plan for the Iberian Wolf Conservation, but it still remains inactive, also lacking economic support. Francisco Álvares considers that this plan is well structured, since it was proposed by several entities concerned with wolf conservation. However, more persuasive measures, such as stronger penalties, effective anti-poaching vigilance and additional public awareness initiatives, should be taken in order to preserve this valuable species of the Iberian biologic heritage.


To know more about this topic, please follow the links below:


“Armadilhas ilegais mataram dois lobos” | Jornal de Notícias | June 2, 2016 (Information available in Portuguese)

“Lobos mortos em Paredes de Coura” | SIC Notícias and Primeiro Jornal – SIC | April 18, 2016 (Information available in Portuguese)

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