Wolf Song of Alaska News

Fish and Game Wants to Shoot Preserve Wolves to Protect Dying Herd

Jackie Bartz / KTUU-TV / May 20, 2010

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The Alaska Department of Fish and Game wants to kill wolves on a national wildlife refuge to protect caribou.

The state says the Unimak Island caribou herd is on the verge of disappearing.

The problem is twofold; Biologists say there are not enough bull caribou on the island and that wolves are killing the majority of calves before they reach one month in age.

Starting June 1, the state wants to use a helicopter to shoot wolves in the area where calves are born.

Thursday, Fish and Game sent a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service explaining that immediate action needed to be taken.    

"There are different ways that we can do the harvest and we will have to do the harvest if we want to protect this herd. We would prefer to do it in cooperation with them, whatever we do we're going to do it in cooperation with them," said Tina Cunnings with the Department of Fish and Game.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it has been working with Fish and Game since December on this issue.

The agency has not made a decision on what to do.

Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Bruce Woods says the agencies disagree on some biological and management issues, but he hopes they will come to an agreement.

The federal agency is currently conducting an environmental study in the area. 

Contact Jackie Bartz at jbartz@ktuu.com 

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