While Priscilla Feral and Friends of Animals were busy trying to organize protests against plans by Alaska to kill 140 wolves in the McGrath area using aerial hunting, the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game was busy expanding its wolf control program. In January it began taking permit applications to kill about 30 wolves in the Nelchina basin.
As with the McGrath plan, the goal of the wolf control program in Nelchina is to reduce the wolf population in order to increase the size of the moose population for hunters.
The Nelchina basin had a land-and-shoot program until 1995, and since that program ended the wolf population in the area has more than doubled according to the Department of Fish and Game. This has resulted in the moose population in the region declining by more than half (the wolves are apparently extremely efficient at killing moose calves).
As far as McGrath, so far weather conditions have meant that no wolves have been killed yet, but the Department of Fish and Game expects that to change in February and March.
Alaska takes applications for new wolf control program. Mary Pemberton, Associated Press, January 7, 2004.
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