Yaffa Epstein, Favourable Conservation Status for Species: Examining the Habitats Directive’s Key Concept through a Case Study of the Swedish Wolf, Journal of Environmental Law, Volume 28, Issue 2, Pp. 221-244
One of the key issues in the current controversy over the hunting of wolves in Sweden is whether the wolf population has reached favourable conservation status (FCS). FCS is a legal concept, created and defined in law, but like many legal concepts within environmental law, can only be understood by reference to ecological concepts such as species viability. These ecological determinations in turn often require some sort of legal or policy judgment, such as how great an extinction risk is acceptable for a viable population. This article interrogates contested legal and ecological aspects of FCS and argues for how they might be applied to the Swedish wolf in potential litigation.