Population Based Species Management Across Legal Boundaries: The Bern Convention, Habitats Directive, and the Gray Wolf in Scandinavia
40 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2013 Last revised: 2 Feb 2014
Date Written: March 31, 2013
The protection of biodiversity, like many other environmental goals, transcends political boundaries. This is particularly true regarding large carnivores, such as wolves, which typically require a relatively low population density and a range that often extends hundreds of kilometers across many legal borders. The two primary legal instruments promoting the protection of species in Europe, the Habitats Directive and Bern Convention, recognize that to be effective in preserving the long-term genetic diversity and thus survival of a population, conservation management must be coordinated throughout the population’s range. Despite the goal of international cooperation for species protection, conservation management rarely occurs at an international level. Using the Scandinavian and Karelian wolf populations as an example, this article comparatively analyzes the two conservation instruments and explores their effect on national law, thus illuminating how the legal situation for a species changes as it crosses political boundaries.
Keywords: species protection, Habitats Directive, carnivore, Sweden, Scandinavia, wolf, European Union, Council of Europe
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