The Spanish Ministry for the Environment has made the Iberian wolf a protected species and banned their hunting from today September 25th.
Wolf hunts had already been banned in much of Castilla y Leon and Madrid though some traditional wolf hunts still run with local government approval.
Compensation or subsidies are scarce for impoverished for those who face loss from the animals and farmers must prove that their livestock have been wounded or killed by wolves.
The province of Asturias had a successful approach to the return of wolves and resulting losses: a local NGO is certifying so-called “pro-biodiversity” lamb, assuring reliable prices for producers and environmental standards, she said.
Near Madrid, forest rangers long blamed livestock attacks on “wild dogs until a wolf was killed on a highway that passes through an area where they claimed there were no wolves.”
Some rural areas in Spain have seen a population decrease of more than 30 percent since 1975, which has further encouraged the return of the wolf.