Archive for the ‘Alaska Department of Fish and Game’ Tag

Alaska Decides It’s Fine to Kill Endangered Wolves Decimated by years of unsustainable logging, endangered wolves on Prince of Wales Island now face the being shot by hunters.   Leave a comment

Source September 1, 2015

Photo Credit: Vibe Images/Shutterstock.com

The state of Alaska has announced that it plans to allow a wolf hunt on Prince of Wales Island, despite recent evidence that the Alexander Archipelago wolf population on the island is in danger of extinction. In July, environmental groups asked the state to close the hunting and trapping season in response to a June report by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game showing alarmingly low levels of wolves the island. Instead of canceling the hunt, the state is allowing the harvest of nine wolves.

“Alexander Archipelago wolves on Prince of Wales have been pushed to their limit and we must stop hunting them,” said Larry Edwards, Greenpeace forest campaigner in Sitka. “Opening the season is the opposite of letting this population recover, let alone sustaining it. Today’s action could lead to its demise.”

According to the state, the newly announced quota of nine wolves is 20 percent of the pre-2014/2015 season population estimate of 89 wolves “plus a reduction for any other human-caused mortality that may occur.” The quota does not account for the 29 wolves reported killed last year, a demonstrated high level of poaching, or the fact that females make up only 25 percent of the dwindling population. Even if they can reproduce at their reduced numbers, the risk of inbreeding is high.

“Wolves on Prince of Wales have been hammered by old-growth logging that has destroyed huge swaths of their habitat and created an ever-growing road system that allows more and more hunter access to the wolves,” said Rebecca Noblin, Alaska director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Thanks to decades of unsustainable logging, Alexander Archipelago wolves are on the precipice, and the state of Alaska is about to kick them over the edge.”

Alexander Archipelago wolves are a subspecies of gray wolves that dens in the roots of old-growth trees in the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2014 found that protecting Alexander Archipelago wolves under the Endangered Species Act “may be warranted.” The Service will decide whether to list the wolves under the Act by the end of this year.

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Alaska Confirms Massive Decline in Rare Wolves, Still Plans to Hunt Them   5 comments

From takepart by

JUN 20, 2015
Samantha Cowan is TakePart’s associate culture and lifestyle editor.

Another harvest could do irreversible damage to the wolf population.

Alaska Archipelago Wolf (Photo: Facebook)

In 1994 southeast Alaska was home to about 900 Alexander Archipelago wolves. By 2013, there were fewer than 250. Last year that population plummeted 60 percent to 89 wolves. New numbers confirm that the rare breed of wolves could have dropped to as few as 50.

But the diminishing species won’t stop hunters from trapping and killing the wolves, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is moving ahead with their 2015-2016 hunting and trapping season on the Prince of Wales Island, where the majority of the wolves live.

“Another open season of trapping and hunting could push these incredibly imperiled wolves over the edge,” Shaye Wolf, a biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement.

A reported 29 wolves were killed during last years hunting season—which accounts for between 33 to 58 percent of the population. Either figure means the species is in jeopardy of being completely wiped out, especially as females were hit particularly hard this season, with only seven to 32 remaining.

So, Why Should You Care? These confirmed numbers could lead to further protections for the breed—which some scientists believe are genetically different from other wolves. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is working to determine whether the species are considered threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act, which could put the kibosh on hunting the animals and protect their habitat.

Such protections would impact the timber industry that logs in their range in the Tongass National Forest. The Center for Biological Diversity filed suit in 2009 to save roadless areas of the Tongass.

But the biggest threat to wolves currently is hunters, which makes the forgoing this year’s harvest seem like a no-brainer.

“To maintain a viable population of Alexander Archipelago wolves on this island, Alaska must cancel the season,” said Wolfe. “We won’t get a second chance to preserve these amazing animals.”

Correction June 22, 2015:
An earlier version of this article stated incorrectly that the population of the Alaskan Archipelgo wolf has declined. It is its subspecies living on Prince of Wales Island that has declined.

Petition: Stop Slaughtering Wolves for Fossil Fuel and Logging Greed!

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