Managing the Carnivore Comeback: International and EU Species Protection Law and the Return of Lynx, Wolf and Bear to Western Europe

Journal of Environmental Law, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 347-372, 2010

20 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2011 Last revised: 27 Mar 2015

See all articles by Arie Trouwborst

Arie Trouwborst

Tilburg University - Department of European & International Public Law; Tilburg Sustainability Center

Date Written: August 24, 2010

Abstract

Lynx, wolves and brown bears are returning to areas in Western Europe from which they have long been absent. This raises specific questions, not only concerning the effective conservation of transboundary carnivore populations, but also regarding potential consequences for livestock, hunting, human safety and the like. Intense popular debates tend to ensue wherever large predators reappear. The response by public authorities, however, must respect the limits imposed by international and European nature conservation obligations. This article is intended to bring these limits into focus by introducing and analyzing relevant species protection regimes, chiefly the Bern Convention and the European Union’s Habitats Directive. Legal issues are addressed regarding conservation status, prohibitions, derogations and transboundary management plans. Also addressed is the interesting predicament of ‘frontier states’ like the Netherlands, which seem to provide the ultimate test case for the adaptive capacity of carnivores and conservation law alike.

Keywords: Bern Convention, Habitats Directive, Large Carnivores, Lynx, Wolf, Brown Bear

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

Trouwborst, Arie, Managing the Carnivore Comeback: International and EU Species Protection Law and the Return of Lynx, Wolf and Bear to Western Europe (August 24, 2010). Journal of Environmental Law, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 347-372, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1752265

Arie Trouwborst (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Department of European & International Public Law ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Tilburg Sustainability Center ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, North Brabant 5000 LE
Netherlands

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