Home>News Center>China

Is it time to start culling big bad wolf?
By Raymond Zhou (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-07-28 05:51

People in the 1950s-1960s might have laughed at the notion. Back in those days, Chinese were expected to exterminate all wolves almost as a matter of duty, and the public did not need much encouragement as the wolf had always been a symbol of vicious aggression.

The wolf-busting programme was so successful that, by the 1980s, there were hardly any wild wolves left. Then, environmental awareness emerged in China and laws and regulations were phased in to protect the animals from random hunting.

"The wolf is high up in the food chain," said Teng Enjiang, an expert with China National Environmental Monitoring Centre. "We need them to keep the balance of things."

Wolves are necessary in the Darwinian animal world, contended Pan Zhaodong, a researcher at Inner Mongolia Academy of Social Sciences, because they prey on the weak and sick, ensuring survival of the fittest.

However, now it seems the protection measures have been too successful, wolves are once again coming into conflict with people, and herdsmen are calling for hunting to be reintroduced.

According to Yuan Guoying, chairman of the Xinjiang Ecology Institute, wolves usually do not invade human territory. But the thriving livestock industry has taken away much of the room for wild wolves, resulting in "an overlapping of these animals' living spaces".

Teng told China Daily that there should be studies to determine the number of wolves appropriate for an area of a certain size. "If there are too many, there should be a controlled cull of the wolf population. Before a cohesive policy is adopted, the herdsmen who lost animals should be compensated by the government."

Some local governments are heeding these suggestions. Damao Banner in Inner Mongolia has introduced three measures. First, herdsmen must take all reasonable measures to protect their animals. Second, a fund will be set up to pay damages to those who have suffered big losses. And third, a patrol team will cruise the prairie to keep wolves at bay.

It may not be ideal to have wolves and sheep on the same grassland, but, with proper management, you don't have to kill one in order for the other to survive.

Page: 12

999 roses to offer apology
Li Zhaoxing attends ASEAN+3 Foreign Ministers Meeting
Submarine drill in East China Sea
  Today's Top News     Top China News

NASA stops shuttle flights until hazard fixed



Central bank said cooling yuan down



Skies open wide for pilots from abroad



Parties target nuke-free peninsula



Veterinarians play down disease threat



Regional co-op focus of ASEAN meeting


  Trade surplus rocketing brings pressure
  Is it time to start culling big bad wolf?
  House okays bill aimed at subsidized China goods
  RMB appreciation helps nation's airlines
  Higher costs force firms to look elsewhere
  Veterinarians play down disease threat
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008