Alaska expands wolf-killing
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1994:
JUNEAU––The Alaska wolf pogrom begun last winter to
make more moose and caribou available to human hunters is to expand
this winter into the buffer zone that formerly protected the Denali
National Park packs––and this winter’s wolf quota will be increased from
150 to 175, the state Board of Game ordered on November 11.
The decree came despite the admission of Alaska Division of
Wildlife Conservation management coordinator Ken Taylor that the
wolf-killing probably has little to do with an increased rate of caribou calf
survival, which is up threefold in the area south of Fairbanks due mainly
to favorable weather. The Board of Game based their action on Taylor’s
report that the increase in the Delta herd, which inhabits the wolf-killing
area, is less than the increase in two nearby herds. However, according
to biologist Gordon Haber, who is working under contract to Friends of
Animals, the Delta herd birth rate was lower.
“Wolf control probably was not required to at least arrest a con-
tinuing steep decline of the Delta herd, contrary to what is often
claimed,” Haber testified. “Heavy wolf predation on caribou, if there
had been any in the first place, apparently was already arrested.
Necropsies of the wolves killed last winter in the control effort and by
private trappers indicated that few were eating caribou, i.e. fewer than
10% of the wolf stomachs contained any evidence of caribou.”
Haber continues to monitor state wolf trapping sites by heli-
copter. Circa November 5 he noted two moose caught in wolf snares,
one of whom broke loose with the snare holding his jaws shut. As Haber
tried to get video of the moose, Taylor reported him to the Alaska State
Troopers as an alleged suspected poacher. Taylor said later that he didn’t
know Haber was in the helicopter.
“He’s a bald-faced liar,” Haber said.