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!

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

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  1. This is insane. Why aren’t they considered endangered?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, there’s been an update to the original article by takepart.com since there as a correction on the data: http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/06/20/alaska-wolves

    Best,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Alaska Confirms Massive Decline in Rare Wolves, Still Plans to Hunt Them | spiritandanimal.wordpress.com

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