LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenian hunters will be allowed to kill a total of 88 bears and up to 10 wolves next year, to keep the population of the animals from expanding, the Environment Ministry said on Monday.
This year, hunters were allowed to kill 93 bears and up to 10 wolves, depending on how many wolves died of other causes.
About 450 to 500 bears and 50 wolves live in Slovenia, and the government wants to keep the population at that level, to protect people and livestock.
“The aim ... is to ensure that the population is retained in favorable condition and that sufficient level of cohabilitation is enabled,” the ministry said in a statement.
Two local environmental organizations took the government to court earlier this year, asserting the hunting quota for wolves was too high and endangered the wolf population. The court has not ruled yet.
About 60 percent of Slovenia is covered by forest, which is home to bears, wolves and lynxes. The lynx population is dwindling, so Slovenia plans to import at least 10 lynxes from Romania and Slovakia in.
Reporting By Marja Novak