Fact Sheet
Gray Wolf
Gray Wolf, © Bruce Faanes
Gray Wolf, © Dawn Hammond

Gray Wolves in Alaska

Alaska is home to the largest remaining population of gray wolves in the United States. Though one of Alaska’s most iconic creatures, the state has a long history of killing wolves through various means. Early in the 20th century, wolves were hunted with virtually no controls, and bounties were common.

But the wolf’s fight in Alaska hasn’t been against extinction — the state’s wolf population is healthy, with estimates ranging from 7,000 to 12,000. Instead, their fight has been one against inadequately monitored control programs which aim to increase game populations through controversial methods. As game populations declined in the 60s and 70s, state-sponsored wolf control commenced and included aerial gunning.
 

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Photo: Joel Sartore
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Gray Wolf, © Bruce Faanes
Success Story
September 2014 - Federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming were reinstated after a judge invalidated the delisting of the species.
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During Wolf Awareness Week, we celebrate the vital role wolves play in the ecosystem, combat the misinformation that so often surrounds them, and share what you can do to help wolves survive.