• Protest calls for same protected status for Iberian Wolves as in Portugal •
Chanting ¡Lobo Vivo, Lobo Protegido! (“Wolves Alive, Wolves Protected!”), thousands of animal rights supporters from across Spain and Europe marched in Madrid on Sunday to demand protected status for Spain’s endangered Iberian Wolf species, which in recent weeks has come under renewed pressure from local authorities in northern Spain issuing hunting and “lethal control” permits to ranchers and landowners.
The protest march and demonstration in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol was organized by a coalition including PACMA, Equo, WWF España, Ecologistas en Acción, Lobo Marley and the European Alliance for Wolf Conservation (EAWC) and supported by more than 200 animal rights, wildlife and environmental groups. Protesters included Iberian Wolf supporters from all of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions, as well as France, the United Kingdom and other EU countries.
While European legislation regarding wildlife habitat requires Spain to ensure that the Iberian wolf population in Spain is maintained at acceptable levels to ensure the species’ survival, the animals are frequently killed by hunters and landowners upon crossing the border into Spain from Portugal, where the Portuguese government has granted the Iberian wolf protected status.