Idaho extends hunt into denning season
Pregnant wolves and newborn pups will be sitting ducks come the end of March(11/20/2009) -
WASHINGTON (November 20, 2009) – The Idaho Fish and Game Commission decided yesterday to extend its wolf hunt in more hunting units across the state through March 31, or until each hunting zone reaches its quota. This decision puts Idaho’s wolf population at even further risk than it is already from the premature wolf hunt that Idaho and Montana implemented before wolves are fully recovered in the Northern Rockies.
The following is a statement by Suzanne Stone, Northern Rockies representative for Defenders of Wildlife.
“Today’s decision has much deeper implications for the health of the region’s wolf population than many realize. By extending the season through the end of March, Idaho is extending it into breeding and denning season, when wolves are at their densites and therefore particularly vulnerable. Hunter knowledge of the whereabouts of denning sites is widespread. Wolves only breed once a year so the take of one pregnant wolf kills any chance of reproductive success for its pack for the year, along with the five to eight pups she was carrying.
“This is precisely the kind of mismanagement that exemplifies why Idaho’s wolf plan is inadequate and politically motivated. Hunters would never allow elk or deer to be hunted when pregnant or just after giving birth and the hunting community should not stand for this unethical treatment of wolves either. We need forward-looking decisions, based on the best available science, that ensure the sustainability of the regional wolf population in the long term instead of sacrificing professional wildlife management standards to appease anti-wolf groups.”
Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org
Contact(s):Suzanne Stone, (208) 424-9385; (208) 861-4655
Erin McCallum, (202) 772-3217; (610) 207-5209