Nature

Published on March 19th, 2009 | by Alex Felsinger

10

UPDATE: Defenders of Wildlife Looks to Halt Wolf Slaughter

March 19th, 2009 by

While 58 wolves have already been killed since Saturday, there’s hope that Alaska’s Department of Fish & Game will not reach their enormous quota. Defenders of Wildlife has taken legal action that could stop the hunt immediately.

“The Board of Game did not authorize the use of helicopters by state agency personnel as part of the Upper Yukon/Tanana wolf killing program,” said Wade Willis, Alaska Representative for Defenders of Wildlife. “What they are doing in that region right now is illegal.”

The Board of Game did approve aerial hunting at their last meeting on March 9th, but Defenders of Wildlife says those regulations had not come into effect when the aerial hunt began in on March 14th. The group filed a request to immediately stop the hunt in a District Court in Anchorage

More information can be found at Defenders of Wildlife’s website.

Photo Credit: dobak on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

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About the Author

is primarily concerned with animal welfare, wildlife conservation, and environmental justice. As a freelance writer in San Francisco, he leads a deliberately simplistic and thrifty lifestyle, yet still can’t help gawking at the newest green gadgets and zero-emission concept cars.



  • Will P

    Nicole,
    I think you misread Paul.

    Paul-
    I agree, perhaps the dog chaining wasn’t the best plan, but letting dogs run free in a rural area is dangerous so I understand. However the absurdity of this issue is out of hand! I live in the lower 48 myself and understand that we killed off the bison (from trains over a period of years, directly to kill Indian populations) but those killings– as the killings of wolves and mountain lions in the rockies — were in the THOUSANDS at a time, not 328. There are estimated to be 8000-11,000 wolves in Alaska, this will not hurt their population.
    Finally- Wolves are dangerous and I understand the wish to hunt from planes, but I personally find it disgusting that these hunters are stooping to that level. If you are going to kill something have some balls, shoot it on its own level, not where it can barely even see you. Who are you Bill Cody?

  • Nicole

    Paul-
    You rock and you’re totally right! These wolves deserve to live and if Alaska thinks they can just start shooting up wolves so that they can have a bit of fun shooting the elk that the wolves kill because they actually need some without the public saying anything they are in for a suprise because I am not taking the death of 328 wolves lying down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Vaz Nunes

    I’m been retolding the old tales like “The three little pigs”, “The little Red Riding Hood” , etc and, in the end, I allways show the real life’s wolf, how he is a kind father/mother, the fear of humans… and the hunting with no reason. It’s very important that we retold those stories. Vaz Nunes , Portugal

  • John

    -Jack that’s unusual.

    First of all even though the natural order of things did involve humans, it probably didn’t involve the use and creation of guns and tanks and bombs and airplanes into the scenario until wildlife would evolve I mean come on! who expects humans will be the same humans in 10 thousands years as to if wild animals will be the same in a few million years we evolved from apes a few billion years ago humans probably cheated time because of all the wars and crisis’s we have all the time.

    We should all be like Gandhi, nice peaceful people that respect everything! pacifists…

  • Jack

    Just go ahead and kill them all. Atleast then there won’t be any around left to suffer. We’ll join them soon enough anyways.

  • Mamie M.

    You go Patrick N. and Tommy J. and Shel. Thank good old common sense for a lot of your comments to Paul T.
    I guess some people just didn’t get the fact that we hunted the buffalo to very near extinction, took all the American Indian’s lands and stuck them in reservations where by trying to live their way of life they could not adapt and then gave all that land away for a pittance of rent to rich farmers and ranchers. We are killing species of all types (some of which we had not even had a chance to research, not that this lack of research justified their destruction). We as people are encroaching on THEIR land. Please write the Secretary of Interior (who I am ashamed to admit President Obama put in this most sacred position) Salazar. Defenders of Wildlife still needs over 30,000 more letters sent out to hit their meager quota of 100,000 to try and stop his decision to continue killing wolves without first performing two essential components of his job requirenment (Please read more at DWL’s website). You can’t tell me that this country is not big enough to re-introduce wolves back into the wild. Maybe if we take the well off farmers and ranchers down a notch (along with their subsidies), they can see how the rest of us are doing trying to maintain our 1/8 acre of land that most of us (but maybe not for long) still call ours.

  • Shel

    When our population has taken over the natural habitat of “beasts,” they have to find somewhere to flee or try to adapt to the change we’ve forced upon them. Is it not animal instinct to survive? The overpopulation of humanity, the expansion of civilization into the wild and into the predators natural habitat is the greater cause for why your dog might get devoured while “chained” in the wilderness. The wilderness is just that- the WILD… humans do not make the rules there and should not try. If you are foolish enough to live there, then you have to play by the rules of what dwelt there long before you infultrated that territory. Do not get me wrong, not everyone who establishes life in the wild continually upsets the balance, but if you are a true animal rights advocate you will understand that once you step into the wild you are just another rung on the food chain- not the alpha beast. You are merely another animal to these predators… perhaps another meal.

    Side note- I do not see anyone trying to control the population of humans, which is clearly out of hand. I do not understand why humans think they have control over other animal populations when we cannot even control our own. Humans are clearly the least humane.

    Also, this point is off topic, but it’s just cruel to chain any animal, ever.

  • tommy j

    Paul-

    You probably shouldn’t have had your dog chained up where you know there were wolves. You are from Alaska right? Then you should know that there are wild animals all around. They shouldn’t be punished because of your mistake.

    Contrary to what you wrote (“Alaska will never put a dent in wolf populations”), many wolves in the US have been hunted to extinction or near-extinction. What makes you think it couldn’t happen there?

    You say we should understand the unique environment you endure, yet it seems you do not understand it yourself (you can’t tell the difference between a wolf and a bear??) – or maybe you do, but you just don’t respect it, seeing how advocate the murder of hundreds of wolves. If you knew anything about predator/prey cycles, you’d know they are there for a reason.

    You say we don’t have the guts to live in your “wilderness” as you speak of your walmart. Doesn’t sound too wild if you ask me.

    I’m sure there have been natives in Alaska for a long time. But there were never thousands of newcomers that brought with them guns and technology. Did you ask why these animals are no longer naturally controlled? Maybe it’s because of the influx of people into that area, completely disturbing the natural order of things.

    Yes – the natural cycle did include humans. That was obviously never at the scale that it is now. So no – that is no longer a truth, and is completely invalid in your argument for exterminating a living being.

    Paul – I suggest you do a little research yourself. And yes, I am a city dweller.

  • Patrick N.

    Paul-
    First I agree with what you said. Most city people do not care much for going to live in the wilderness. However, that doesn’t mean they are uneducated about the current situations of the wolves. Yes, they’ve been killed by humans for 10,000 years now, and they’re still around, but you have to keep in mind that right now, we (the human race) is at a population level of 8 billion people. There have never been that many people before, so we have to change. And also, we cannot choose the level of any animal in the world, if we could we would be gods, not men.

  • Paul Theriault

    Be aware, the wolves are alive and well. The state of Alaska will never put a dent in the population with the means within the legal boundries. If your dog was eaten of the end of it’s chain befor you could defend it,you would look at things differently,I support the efforts of true anamal rights advocates,and I hope you will understand the unique enviroment we Alaskans endure. I ask you this; how many times have you had to back down to a moose on the way to the outhouse, how many times have you been wondering ” is that a moose or a bear”. Have a heart you city dwellers, we have a hard enough time out here without your false ideas about the so called last wilderness that you don’t have the gutts to live in but may someday want to visit. I don’t blame you for caring for the ideals that we all stand for, just remember their have been people here for over 10,000 years and the wolves are alive and well.The state of alaska is doing the best they can to control predators that are no longer being controled by traditional means. In the old days when the local population depended on the land rather than walmart they kept the game and predators in balance. The natural cycle included humans and that truth is still valid.I don’t expect everyone to agree with this view, I just hope you find the time to do a little research into to facts.If you get a chance come to Alaska and meet some of the best people in the world! (I no my spellin sucks)If you don’t send me hate mail I’ll Know they Did’nt post this comment.

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