Defenders Condemns Gov. Palin's Decision Offering Bounties for Wolves
Statement of Karla Dutton, Defenders of Wildlife's Alaska office director(03/21/2007) - Anchorage, AK -- "We are extremely outraged at Governor Palin's decision to reinstate a wolf bounty to entice hunters to kill more wolves in the five control areas as reported in today's Anchorage Daily News. Even worse, we know she is seriously considering allowing wolf killing from helicopters. Bounties have no place in modern wildlife management and undoubtedly would lead to the illegal killing of wolves.
"Defenders continues to believe that the State does not have a sufficient scientific basis for implementing these programs. Specifically, we believe that the State overestimated the number of wolves in the control areas and that is the reason that fewer wolves have been taken by aerial gunners this year. More than 600 wolves have been killed by aerial gunners in these areas over the past four years. That figure does not include the number taken through ground-based hunting and trapping. These areas may be tapped out, which would mean that the State has killed a larger proportion of the wolf population than allowed for in the plans.
"Instead of wasting taxpayer money on bounties and helicopters, the State should use funds to conduct surveys to obtain an accurate and scientifically-based assessment of each control area's wolf populations. Until the State's biologists have an updated count of these populations, aerial gunning and all the extra incentives the governor is offering should stop."
Defenders of Wildlife is recognized as one of the nation's most progressive advocates for wildlife and its habitat. With more than 500,000 members and supporters, Defenders of Wildlife is an effective leader on endangered species issues.
Contact(s):Karla Dutton, (907) 276-9453