The Humane Society of the United States strongly condemned the Alaska Board of Game for its decision to slaughter the wolves who live in a portion of the Kenai Peninsula (Unit 15C, southwest of Kenai National Refuge; map available upon request). The HSUS urges Gov. Bill Walker to reverse this cruel and unscientific decision.
HSUS Alaska State Director Michael Haukedalen stated:
“Biologists have known for decades that wolves are highly intelligent, familial animals, and the magnitude of suffering imposed on them by the Alaska Board of Game is unconscionable. Studies show that wolves who are subject to heavy hunting and trapping suffer trauma and experience disruption when fellow pack members are killed. This disruption to their families causes packs to disband, and elimination of the breeding pair can lead to the loss of pups or yearlings by slow starvation. Recent polls have demonstrated that most Alaskans abhor the reckless and unscientific predator control actions permitted by the Alaska Board of Game. We urge Gov. Walker to reverse this needless bloodshed.”
The most current and best available science is clear: predator-control measures intended to restore ungulate herds, such as moose and caribou, are doomed to fail because herds need access to adequate nutrition—their main limiting factor. Alaska’s many-decades-long “Intensive Management” program has failed to yield more ungulates for human hunters, and it is an ineffective approach to conserving natural systems.
Killing wolves on the borders of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge will harm wolves inside the refuge, as it has to Denali National Park, where wolf sightings by visitors rapidly declined from 45 percent to 6 percent over the course of just a few years. The Alaska Board of Game is doing a disservice to the state by placing Kenai Peninsula wolves in that same perilous position.