Sunday, April 3, 2011
"More than 35 years ago, Congress banned the use of airplanes to hunt or harass wolves and other wildlife by passing the Aerial Hunting Act in 1971. But Alaska is exploiting a loophole in the federal law to resume the practice. The state’s aerial gunning program takes out wolves and bears in an attempt to artificially boost moose and caribou populations, often for the benefit of guided out of state hunters."
Most of you probably remember when Sarah Palin lifted the hunting ban. Palin's administration approved an initiative to pay a $150 bounty to hunters who killed a wolf and brought in their paw. The state responded that predators kill over 80 percent of the moose and caribou that die each year, while hunters and trappers kill less than 10 percent. However, Natural Science discredits this notion because wolf research has shown that wolves are, in fact, mostly scavengers. "Sixty to 70 percent of the moose they eat are scavenged, not killed." Haber
172 scientists signed a letter to Palin, expressing concern about the lack of science behind the state's wolf-killing operation. According to the scientists, state officials set population objectives for moose and caribou based on "unattainable, unsustainable historically high populations." As a result, the "inadequately designed predator control programs" threatened the long-term health of both the ungulate and wolf populations. The scientists concluded with a plea to Palin to consider the conservation of wolves and bears "on an equal basis with the goal of producing more ungulates for hunters."
Defenders of Wildlife is supporting the Protect America’s Wildlife (PAW) Act. Take Action!
* House of Representatives bill H.R. 3381
* Senate bill S.1535
Related links: Nature Whispers