Fish and Game biologists shot four wolves for predator control, but two were radio collared by the Park Service. (File/KTUU-DT)
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The Department of Fish and Game is being criticized over shooting wolves from the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve near the community of Eagle.
Under its aerial wolf control program, Fish and Game killed an entire wolf pack of four wolves from the preserve Wednesday.
Two of the wolves killed were collared by the National Park Service and part of a 16-year-long scientific study.
NPS had requested that no wolves from the nine packs denning in the preserve be shot by Fish and Game, including un-collared wolves.
Fish and Game would not agree to those terms, but did agree not to shoot collared wolves.
Officials with the Department called the wolf control program a success, but did admit to "mistakenly" shooting the collared wolves.
Jim Stratton, the Alaska regional director of the National Parks Conservation Association says he is very concerned.
"The Park Service provided them with the radio frequencies on the collars so they would know exactly which wolves were collared by the Park Service, and even with those considerations, this particular employee, when he saw these wolves, he shot them anyway, and it's our understanding that he saw that they were collared and still shot them," Stratton said.
Fish and Game says a possible collar malfunction or "other problems" prevented staff from identifying the collared wolves.
According to the Department an investigation is underway to find out how this happened.
Contact Lori Tipton at firstname.lastname@example.org