Wolf Song of Alaska News

Wolves to Blame for No More Growth in Caribou Herd

Associated Press / KTVA / April 9, 2006


The largest caribou herd in the Interior has stopped growing after almost doubling in size over the last eight years.

State wildlife officials say wolves are to blame. They say the size of the Fortymile caribou herd has plateaued at around 43-thousand animals.

The state's Department of Fish and Game's goal is to build the herd up to between 50-thousand and 100-thousand caribou. That would allow a harvest of one-thousand to 15-thousand caribou a year.

The harvest is currently capped at 850 animals. Fish and Game spokeswoman Cathie Harms says the state wants to expand the aerial wolf-control program to cover the herd's entire range.

The department submitted a proposal outlining such a program to the Alaska Board of Game earlier this month during a meeting in Fairbanks. But the Game Board tabled it and all other predator control proposals until a special meeting in May.


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