Nature Maintains Wolf Population
Letter to the Editor / Juneau Empire / January 2, 2004
I must have missed something regarding the governor's decision to permit the
killing of 40-45 wolves in the McGrath area and another 100 in the Nelchina
Basin. On a talk show a couple weeks ago I thought I heard someone who works
for the state say that for each of the past 10 years approximately 40 percent
of permitted moose hunters, at least in the McGrath area, had taken moose. He
seemed to think that was a reasonable success rate due to the difficulty of
If the same number of permits have been offered each of these last 10 years,
that sounds to me like a pretty stable population of moose. If wolves were killing
too many moose, wouldn't the hunters be less successful? If for some reason I
have not heard, there is a marked decrease in the number of moose in those areas,
wouldn't it make sense to decrease the number of permits offered?
My understanding is that when the food sources for wolves decrease, they self-limit
their pack size by birthing fewer pups, thus decreasing the number of predators.
This is the way nature has maintained her balance for hundreds of thousands of
years. So why do we need to shoot wolves? Perhaps it is we who need to take a
look at self-limiting.
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