Denali’s Wolves Receive No Quarter….Buffer Zone Opened To Wolf Trapping (Take Action)

 

Denali’s wolves suffered the loss of one of their greatest supporters last year when Dr. Gordon Haber died in a  plane crash. He was their champion and now he’s gone.

I know he worked hard to keep the wolves safe but Denali’s wolves are dying at the hands of trappers who set their traps right outside the park.  Since wolves don’t understand park boundaries they are often trapped and killed. Denali’s wolves are particularly vulnerable because they are habituated to people.

One  horrific incident involved an alpha female who was stuck for almost two weeks in a leg hold trap and snare.  Her frantic family stayed close to her but of course could not help her. Her teeth were broken from trying to eat rocks. Who are these heartless people who have no respect for animal life that would let a wolf to sit in a leghold for two weeks?  It makes me sick to think of it.  Apparently a small group of trappers are wrecking havoc on the wolves of Denali.

… a handful of trappers who set gauntlets of traps just along the border of the Park. Denali’s wolves are especially vulnerable to trapping and hunting due to their tolerance of human presence. As a result, the history of several wolf families seen along the Park road is a history of loss.

In the 1980s, Denali’s Savage pack was completely wiped out by a hunter. In 1995, the sole survivor of the Headquarters pack, a pregnant alpha female, was illegally snared less than 300 feet outside the Park boundary. In 1997-1998, the East Fork wolves declined from 12 to two; heavy trapping was the suspected cause. In 1998, the Sanctuary wolves declined from 15 to eight members; one year later three pups from this pack were snared less than a mile outside the Park.

In 2000, five pups from Denali’s Pinto pack were shot by a hunter. In 2002, the sole survivor of the Sanctuary pack was trapped and killed, her radio collar signal going off in a local trapper’s house.

The Margaret wolves moved into the territory but suffered the loss of their alpha male to trapping, and only two wolves remain today. A wolf with a snare caught around his neck moved into the Margaret territory. The wound was so severe his head was grossly swelled, prompting the Park Service to capture him and remove the snare. After his mate was killed, he was never seen again. That same spring, another wolf was seen with a leghold attached, but disappeared shortly thereafter.

There has been no more tragic loss, however, than that experienced by Denali’s East Fork wolves. Denning some 30 miles into the Park, many believe they are descendants of the wolves Adolph Murie studied back in the late thirties. The book, “The Wolves of Mt. McKinley” is based on Murie’s research and is still sold in bookstores today. In 2005, the small gray East Fork female I had seen on the road that day was trapped by a recreational trapper near the Stampede Trail.

The late Dr. Gordon Haber, an independent wolf biologist, and others observed her mate and pups around the trap area for many days, perhaps bewildered by her capture in both a leghold and snare. The trapper eventually shot her and carried her out on a sled pulled by a snowmachine. Biologists reported she had been alive for 10-14 days in the trap. The necropsy revealed she had broken teeth from eating rocks. Not too long after her death, the alpha black male was shot in the back by a hunter in the Cantwell area.

Could there be a more brutal death for a wolf?

It was hoped the Alaska Board of Game would address the plight of Denali’s wolves by extending their protections and increasing the buffer zones around the park. Instead they opened the north-eastern border of Denali to wolf trapping, even though Alaskans sent thousands of letters in support of wolves. 

 A letter to the editor in the Juneau Empire, from a concerned citizen, sums up the sad situation for Denali’s wolves and other wildlife.

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State hypocritical in allowing Denali wildlife to be killed

Juneau Empire

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

It was recently reported that the Alaska Board of Game made the decision to open the buffer zones to the northeast of Denali National Park to wolf trapping. This decision came about in spite of wide public support from Alaskans to maintain and even increase protection for Denali’s wolves.

Furthermore, the National Park Service also wished to maintain the current level of protection as the wolf population has declined to roughly 70 wolves within the park.

This decision, along with many other decisions by the Board of Game, contradicts what is stated in the Alaska Constitution that wildlife belongs to all Alaskans not just to hunters and trappers.

Apparently, the desires of three to four recreational trappers outweigh the desires of all other Alaskans, essentially making wildlife viewers, scientists, photographers, tourists, business and others into second-class citizens without any voices of representation on the current Board of Game.

Quoting from the article – “When we created buffer zones, we had been essentially implementing federal management for federal interests on state land,” said board member Teresa Albaugh, who voted to open the land for trapping. “The business of those lands is the business of the federal government.”

Exactly. As such, the National Park Service should take a far more aggressive stance toward the state when state actions threaten either or both of the two mandates of the National Park Service – protecting the resource and providing access and experience for park visitors.

Since NPS has federal jurisdiction over its lands, it should re-evaluate its current hunting and trapping bag limits within Denali’s Preserve and New Park Additions (and in other parks) and lower them assuming this does not conflict with ANILCA. Additionally, other subjects such as snow machining and other areas of cooperation with the state should be re-evaluated as well and perhaps overturned.

No predator control of either bears or wolves or the baiting of either for hunting or trapping purposes should be allowed on federal lands whether under NPS or other federal agency jurisdiction.

Additionally, perhaps now is the time for the businesses in the Alaska tourism industry – such as Princess, Aramark, Holland America and many other local businesses in the Glitter Gulch area outside Denali – to re-evaluate and consider cancelling their advertising and promotion of these same area trappers’s tourism-related businesses.

The financial targeting of tourists in the summer and then the targeting and killing of Denali’s wildlife as it travels outside the park in the winter is blatantly hypocritical and is ethically and biologically destructive to Denali.

Bill Watkins

Homer

http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/030910/let_576421621.shtml

When will the cruelty toward wolves end?  What is wrong with our society that we allow such horrors?

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Denali’s wolves: A history of loss

By Karen Deatherage | Juneau Empire

http://juneauempire.com/stories/030410/opi_570700918.shtml

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Please write to the Alaska Board of Game to express your outrage on their new policy of opening a Denali National Park buffer zone to wolf  trapping:

ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME
Boards Support Section
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526
(907) 465-4110
(907) 465-6094 FAX

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Write to the Governor of Alaska Sean Parnell and ask him to reverse this outrageous decision by the Alaska Board of Game

Contact the Governor…..CLICK HERE

 

Animal rights’ group urges Alaska tourism boycott

Mon Mar 8, 5:39 pm ET

JUNEAU, Alaska – An animal rights’ group is calling for a tourism boycott of Alaska over a recent decision to remove buffer zones for wolf trapping near Denali National Park.

Friends of Animals’ President Priscilla Feral says last week’s decision by a divided Alaska Board of Game lacked any sense of decency.

She says treating wolves as vermin is an extreme attitude and that her group is taking a drastic step in response. She says Gov. Sean Parnell needs to intervene.

A Parnell spokeswoman did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Feral says Friends of Animals last used a tourism boycott to protest Alaska’s wolf program in the early 1990s.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20100308/ap_tr_ge/us_travel_brief_denali_wolves_boycott_alaska_1

 

Video: Courtesy YouTube

Posted in: Alaska’s wolves, Howling for Justice, gray wolf/canis lupus

Tags: cruelty of trapping, trapping wolves, Denali’s wolves, Alaska Board Of Game

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22 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Alaska F&G: Corrupt to the point where they don’t try to hide it.

    Like

    • Hi John,
      I would say that’s just about right. Still it can’t hurt to write them and let them know people from outside Alaska see what they’re doing and might not want to spend their tourist dollars there.

      Friends of Animals is calling for a boycott of Alaska. Doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Writing to the Governor of Alaska and asking him to reverse the awful decision made by the Board of Game is also another pro-active measure we can take.

      N.

      Like

  2. Nabeki, trapping is an abomination. I hope one day it becomes banned on public lands all over.

    Like

    • Jon…Trapping truly in an abomination. I can’t get the image out of my mind of that poor wolf sitting in a leghold trap for almost two weeks, dying of hunger and thirst, her teeth breaking from trying to eat rocks. I’m speechless.

      N.

      Like

  3. DEAR NADEKI! I HATE ALL WOLVES’S KILLER! I WANT TO KILL WITH MY HANDS ALL THIS HUNTERS! PLEASE,MY ENGLISH IS NOT SO GOOD,THAT’S WHY PLEASE HELP ME FOR THE PETITION. I’LL COPY AND I’LL SEND. “SHE WHO HAS NEVER LOVED,HAS NEVER LIVED”….I’M IN TEARS….I SEND MANY BLESSING TO YOU…FOR YOUR WORK….Agnes

    Like

    • Agnes,…Trophy hunting is so cruel and pointless. The taking of an animal’s life just because you can and just because it’s there. It’s something I do despise. I know you want to do something, it’s hard to sit here and know wolves are being killed and feel helpless. We all feel it. It seems the world has been turned upside down as wolves continue to be persecuted.

      We are waiting for Judge Molloy’s decision on relisting wolves but it’s been a long wait and still no word. I urge you to write to the contacts I’ve listed and also as Lyndell suggests visit the petition site. What we can do now is continue to speak out every chance we get in favor of wolves. Tell your relatives and everyone you know what is happening here in the Northern Rockies and ask them to write to the people on the contact list. The message can be as simple as ” Stop Killing Wolves For The Livestock Industry, Just Stop”. That is powerful and to the point.

      Thanks so much for caring about wolves. They would thank you if they could.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,
      Nabeki

      Like

  4. Hate, for me is probably thee most powerful negative emotion that I can imagine. Other emotions root off this emotion. Trapping and especially trapping wolfs and other predators is for me beyond words. It never ceases to shock me how low man will bow for money and other gratifications. Man at his worse!

    Like

    • Marc…It’s mind numbing what’s going on. Every day is another horror to report. I am sickened by the decision of the Alaska Board of Game to open up a Denali buffer zone to wolf trapping. If Gordon Haber were only still alive to fight the good fight for the wolves he loved so dearly. What a tragic loss for Denali’s wolves and for all wolves. I read his blog and papers and learn something new everytime. Wolf advocates should write to the Governor of Alaska and protest this new injustice that wolves will be subjected to.

      We will never give up the fight for them until one day they can live in peace without the senseless and wanton killing of a species that is just trying to survive in an ever hostile environment. God bless the wolves.

      N.

      Like

  5. Wolves may have killed a teacher in Alaska.
    http://www.thenewstribune.com/2010/03/09/1102882/wolf-blamed-in-death-of-villager.html

    The area where she was killed has a high kill rate of wolves by humans. 10 per person are allowed to be killed every year. This liberal killing may teach the wolves that humans are a threat and that may be cause for more concern. Its not even a definite but of course now we’re going to get the hysteria and the go ahead from AKFG – or other F&Gs – to kill more wolves just to make people feel happy and safe because of this one incident.

    Like

    • John…I’m very skeptical it was a wolf attack unless a wolf was rabid. Domestic dogs bite over four million people and kill twenty people per year. We have to be much more worried about that. But the thought that a wolf may have attacked one person the hysteria I’m sure will reach fever pitch.. Sorry the poor woman died but I highly doubt it was the result of a healthy wolf or wolves.

      N.

      Like

    • John…more on the story. http://www.thenewstribune.com/2010/03/09/1102882/wolf-blamed-in-death-of-villager.html This would be so unusual and rare. Wolves rarely ever attack people. Some are speculating there could have been an underlying cause of her death but I’m sure we’ll never really know what happened. Especially with Alaska’s track record on wolves. Wolves often get blamed for predation on livestock they didn’t committ. Sad story though.

      N.

      Like

      • http://www.wolfsongnews.org/news/Alaska_current_events_3258.html

        Their selected course of action: wipe out the entire pack. And they’re not 100% sure it was wolves. Don’t you just love paranoia?

        Like

      • Hi John,
        I will be forever skeptical of any information that comes out of this investigation. I think there’s a push to blame it on wolves.

        N.

        Like

  6. There is only one good use for traping, and that is collaring. Biologists use traps(set a low power) in order to trap and collar preditors.

    I live in Idaho, the current area of wolf massacre, and I must say, as sad as it is, that it seems people who are for the deat of wildlife always seem to win.
    No matter what facts you point out to people, or how much you study a subject they always find a way to get what they wont, even if it is illiegal.

    Like

  7. I DON’T , I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT…IT WAS WOLF ATTACKED!!! IT’S TOO MUCH EASY TO SAY THAT!

    Like

  8. NADEKI,PLEASE BELIEVE ME…I’LL DO IT WHAT IS POSSIBLE FOR THE WOLVES! I LOST MY JOB THAT’S WHY I CAN’T SEND DONATION FOR TO HELP WOLVES…BUT I’LL SEND ALL PETITON EVERYWHERE …PLEASE SEND ME EMAIL ADDRESS OF GOVERNOR OF ALASKA AND ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME.IN MY LIFE NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT,TO SAVE THE WOLVES!!! I WOULD LIKE BE WITH YOU…HELP YOU AND WOLVES…BUT I’M IN FRANCE,IN PARIS.HERE TOO,HAVE LOT OF PROBLEM FOR SAVE FRENCH WOLVES…ONLY 170 WOLVES…MANY BLESSING TO YOU AND TO ALL WOLVES ON THIS BAD WORLD!

    Like

    • Hi Agnes,

      The contact information you can use to write to the Governor of Alaska and the Alaska Board of Game are at the end of the post. Thanks for caring so much about wolves.

      N.

      Like

  9. Closer to the subject, wasn’t the point of having National Parks to leave nature as it is?

    Like

    • I think the spirit of that has been lost Joh. Especially in Alaska where wolves are hunted relentlessly. Baiting them just outside Denali is sickening. Gordon Haber was working to stop that practice. Now their champion is dead. What a loss.

      N.

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  10. Sara Palin brought in the worst of the worst for the Board of Game, including Correy Rossi and Teresa Albaugh, who are both shills for the hunting industry and very anti-predator. every email that I have sent to Denby Lloyd or Gov Parnell have gone unanswered. Our best solution is putting pressure on the Nat Park Service, who have questioned these over-aggressive tactics before. They need to stand up for wolves! People should email the Nat Trappers Assoc in Indiana to voice our disgust with their unethical trapping methods which they do not want to change. They are pathetic!!!!

    Like

    • Or how about an Alaska boycott William? Friends of Animals is calling for one because openiing up the buffer zone around Denali instead of expanding it, is so egregious. Sometimes the only way you can get someone’s attention is through their pocketbook.

      N.

      Like

  11. The self proclaimed hunters are nothing but cowards and killers.Shame on them and the government officials for supporting,promoting, allowing,encouraging these heinous massacres against nature and it’s sentient beings.Without the man-made tools,these crippled humans would have real hard time”hunting”for sports,trophies,profits and fun. Real man doesn’t need to kill anyone in order to live well,be well and happy.Real man protect,respect,defend and help the weakest of society. Please don’t let this medieval foolish,selfish,crippled”traditions”wipe out wild life animals.The non-human animals are not criminals but their murderers are.

    Like


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