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

Another harvest could do irreversible damage to the wolf population.

Alexander Archipelago wolf. (Photo: Facebook)
Jun 20, 2015
by Samantha Cowan

In 1994, southeast Alaska was home to about 300 Prince of Wales wolves, a subspecies of Alexander Archipelago wolves. By 2013, there were fewer than 250. Last year the population plummeted 60 percent to 89 wolves. New numbers confirm that the rare breed may have dropped to as few as 50.

But the diminishing numbers 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 its 2015–2016 hunting and trapping season on Prince of Wales Island.

“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 year’s hunting season—which accounts for between 33 and 58 percent of the population. Either figure means the species is in danger of being completely wiped out, especially as females were hit particularly hard this season…


9 thoughts on “Alaska Confirms Massive Decline in Rare Wolves, Still Plans to Hunt Them

  1. Reblogged this on Howling For Justice and commented:
    Remember Romeo, the wonderful Alexander Archipelago wolf, who played with his dog and human friends on the Mendenhall Glacier in Juno, Alaska? Romeo was a superstar wolf but sadly his very fame became his downfall. He was brutally murdered by poachers, his life snuffed out by people who have no respect for animal life. And now this iincredibly endangered sub-species of wolf could slip into extinction if something isn’t done. The Center for Biological Diversity has been working hard since 1996 to save these wolves.
    February 7, 1996 – The Center and allies filed suit against the Fish and Wildlife Service for denying a petition to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf as an endangered species.
    October 1996 – In response to our February suit, a federal court overturned the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to deny protections.
    Late 1997 – The Service completed its court-mandated review and determined that listing the wolf was not warranted. The finding acknowledged the wolf’s declining populations but predicted that numbers would stabilize at an “acceptable” level.
    December 22, 2009 – The Center, as part of a diverse coalition of Alaska Native, tourism industry, and environmental organizations, filed suit to end a 2003 Bush-era policy that exempted the Tongass National Forest from the national Roadless Area Conservation Rule.
    January 2010 – The Forest Service approved an ill-conceived logging operation within the Tongass National Forest, the Archipelago wolf’s home.
    August 10, 2011 – The Center for Biological Diversity joined with Greenpeace to again petition the Fish and Wildlife Service for Endangered Species Act protection for the wolf.
    July 10, 2012 – The Center and Greenpeace notified the Service of our intent to file suit against the agency for delaying Endangered Species Act protection for the Alexander Archipelago wolf.
    November 12, 2013 – The Center and Greenpeace notified the Service that it is two years overdue in deciding whether to initiate an Endangered Species Act status review for southeast Alaska’s Alexander Archipelago wolves. A status review may lead to listing these wolves as threatened or endangered.
    June 17, 2015 – An official memorandum issued by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game estimated the wolve’s population to number only 89 in fall 2014, down from 221 the prior year — although the number could be as low as 50.

  2. Pingback: Alaska Confirms Massive Decline in Rare Wolves, Still Plans to Hunt Them | awakeu2shift2012

  3. Judging by the Florida bear hunt and the facts and figures listed above from last year’s wolf hunt, these animals could be all be gone in a few hours! But let’s just keep on with the illusion that we are all intelligent, law-abiding folk who would always do the right thing, not the murderous, selfish thieves and scumbags we truly are at heart. I’d love to hear the rationale for continuing the hunting of these poor wolves.

  4. I guess is more important for them to get money and have fun!!!
    For goverment and politicians these beautiful creatures are just that… animals. I guess they think they dont have souls.

  5. Hunting is causing worldwide decline of most wild species, most politicians, (including Bernie Sanders of VT–the darling of most Dems and Independents right now) are pro-hunting, and will not touch the NRA.
    The U.S. government continues to support the so-called “subsistence” whale hunting, and many wildlife groups are cowards when it comes to taking on the hunting/trapping industry, including Sierra Club, Defenders & others. Many hunters also trap. Here in the west, many ranchers (grazing on public lands and destroying millions of wild species yearly) are also hunters, belong to the NRA. I keep asking this: If the major wildlife groups decided to start a massive anti-hunting campaign, and fight the NRA, wildlife might stand a chance. They should also take a firm stand against Public Lands Ranching here in the west, because these problems are all related.
    So, I guess we can lament and cry about this tragedy, but little will change, and most wild species will go extinct, and this extinction will be happening faster each year. I will not be a part of Any group that is compromising on the hunting/ranching issue–and I try to find out if they have such persons on their boards, staff.

  6. Pingback: Alaska Confirms Massive Decline in Rare Wolves, Still Plans to Hunt Them | Sherlockian's Blog

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