On February 3, 2017, the Minister of Environment of Ukriane signed an order banning elk hunting. This is important signal for environmental community in Ukraine, as the decision has a clear nature conservation goal: conservation and restoration of European elk (Alces alces) population in wild.
The document imposes a ban on elk hunting all over Ukraine for 25 years. State control (oversight) over the ban is put on State Environmental Inspectorate. At the same time, a restoration program is planned for elk population in Ukraine, including necessary scientific research and monitoring.
‘Ukraine is several decades late with introducing a moratorium on elk hunting. Some estimations suggest elk population in Ukraine is about 2-6 thousands. Belarus and Poland, to compare, host about 30 thousand’, commented his decision O.Semerak, the Minister of Environment of Ukraine.
In turn, an association of hunters and fishermen made a statement claiming the ban will have negative consequences for hunting activities and, therefore, will not lead to increase in elk populations. They suggest a ban could be effective if applied to certain areas only, where the population is inadequate.
One issue is in common for environmental and hunting community: state should invest more efforts into fighting poaching. This is a necessary element for wild fauna conservation in Ukraine.