March 19, 2010
Alaska won’t stop killing wolves.
Alaska Fish and Game wiped out all four members of the collared Webber Creek wolf pack that ranged in Alaska’s Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. They were part of a sixteen year ongoing research project by the National Park Service.
Alaska is killing wolves to boost numbers of moose and Fortymile caribou. This is a waste of wolves’ lives and outdated wildlife management. Are they living in the 1950’s up there?
The Alaska Fish and Game wolf executioners agreed they wouldn’t kill wolves collared by the National Park Service biologists. So much for giving their word.
Wolves that use the preserve are dropping like flies. The autumn 2009 count was 42 wolves, by February that number had dropped to 26, the largest single decline in 17 years. There should be an immediate halt to the wolf killing anywhere near the preserve.
“Fish and Game makes no apologies for killing uncollared wolves in the predator control program and said it killed the wolves wearing park service radio collars by mistake.
“A possible collar malfunction or other problems prevented staff from identifying the collared wolves,” the department said in a statement Thursday.
Collar malfunction? I was born in the dark but it wasn’t last night.
The Webber Creek mother and father were recently collared. Apparently the shooter did see the collars but shot anyway, according to reports.
“Causes of the tracking problem are being investigated, according to the statement.
Fish and Game referred all questions to David James, regional supervisor for the Interior. James did not return repeated messages Thursday afternoon and evening with questions about what happened and the department’s statement, which appears to conflict with what he had reportedly told the Park Service.
Dudgeon said he’d spoken to James on Wednesday night.
“My understanding from the phone call last night was that the shooter, whoever that person was, did see the collars,” Dudgeon said. “They were aware of the collars.”
The Fish and Game statement began by saying the department was “concluding a successful three-day field operation in the ongoing Upper Yukon Tanana wolf control program.” The operation began Tuesday and the statement said that nine wolves were killed during the first two days.
The program will resume with the next adequate snowfall in the area, according to the statement. The wolves are tracked in the snow using fixed-wing aircraft, and Fish and Game employees then come in and shoot the wolves from helicopters.
There are five areas of Alaska where the state has authorized predator control from the air by private pilots and gunners in order to boost key populations of game. The Fortymile area is the only of the five where Fish and Game also uses helicopters with its own employees to fly in and shoot the wolves.
Fish and Game said it “continues to coordinate” with National Park Service staff to minimize the impact of the effort on the wolf study in the Yukon Charley preserve. The study has been ongoing for 16 years, and the “alpha male and female” killed had been recently fitted with collars.
Dudgeon said he would be asking the department exactly where the wolves were killed and why. He said he’d asked Fish and Game not to kill any collared wolves, as well as any other wolves in the same packs.
Dudgeon said he made the request because of population numbers for wolves using the preserve. He said 42 wolves were counted in the fall and 26 in February. Wolves always die over the winter, but it was the biggest drop since the preserve started monitoring in 1993, he said.
He said Fish and Game agreed not to kill collared wolves and take no more than seven from the biggest packs that move in and out of the Yukon Charley preserve.
The National Parks Conservation Association, an advocacy group, called Thursday for an immediate suspension of the wolf killing around the Yukon Charley preserve. The group said it shouldn’t resume until the Park Service is satisfied a healthy wolf population is assured.
Wolf advocate Rick Steiner called the killing of collared wolves “disgusting and shameful” and said the program should be halted. The Board of Game authorized predator control after hearing from local residents and hunting advocates.
This is the second year in a row the department has used helicopters to kill wolves in the area of the Fortymile caribou herd. Fish and Game reported killing 84 wolves in the aerial program last year.”
Alaska has a reputation for treating it’s predators like vermin. It’s clear when it comes to predators, Alaska caters to hunters and trappers, the rest of the wildlife viewing public be damned.
The Webber Creek wolves resided in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. Alaska Fish and Game agreed they would leave the collared wolves alone, yet the wolves are dead.
Please contact Governor Parnell to express your outrage.
“Friends of Animals“ has called for a boycott of Alaska due to the terrible decision by Alaska’s Board of Game to extend trapping into buffer zones around Denali National Park.
This is just another reason to avoid Alaska. Is there no end to their sanctioned wolf slaughter?
Contact Governor Parnell…..CLICK HERE
Alaska Governor Sean Parnell
P.O. Box 110001
Juneau, AK 99811
ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME
Boards Support Section
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526
(907) 465-6094 FAX
Collared wolves killed during predator control
By SEAN COCKERHAMPublished: 03/19/1012:38 am | Updated: 03/19/1012:38 am
Wolves with radio collars for research killed during Alaska predator control culling
The Anchorage Daily News
By Sean Cockerham |
Posted in: Alaska’s wolves, aerial gunning of wolves, gray wolf/canis lupus
Tags: collared wolves, aerial gunning of wolves, Yukon-Charley National Preserve, wolves in the crossfire, Alaska Department of Fish and Game