YAKUTSK, February 20 (RIA Novosti) – Authorities in the remote north-east Siberian republic of Yakutia said on Wednesday they would allocate 32 million rubles (just over $1mln) for a three-month cull of wolves.
The governor of Yakutia, Yegor Borisov, said earlier this year the republic would launch the mass extermination of wolves, which officials say killed over 16,000 reindeer and over 300 horses in 2012, taking a toll on local farms.
An agricultural and commodities official, Ivan Pavlov, said wolves were being hunted on the ground and from the air. He said 161 wolves had so far been killed out of an estimated 3,500 in the vast and sparsely populated republic, which would be the eighth largest country in the world were it an independent state.
The authorities say the republic - also known as Sakha - can realistically support around 500 wolves.
Hunters are being paid up to $1,000 per wolf hide.