Latest: National Park Service intervenes in Alaska predator hunting

  • A wolf in Alaska carries a meal in its mouth. Extended wolf hunting seasons have depleted some packs, but now, a new federal rule permanently bans hunting practices meant to manipulate predator populations in national parks and preserves.

    National Park Service

In Alaska, federal and state officials have long clashed over the management of wolves and bears in national parks and preserves. State law requires sustaining abundant caribou and moose populations for food security, a goal that often entails killing off predators, while the federal 1916 Organic Act mandates keeping healthy populations of all wildlife species. In the Yukon-Charley region in 2013, the National Park Service spent $100,000 studying wolves even as the state spent roughly the same amount killing them (“Alaska’s wildlife war,HCN, 5/27/14).

In mid-October, the Park Service banned practices meant to curb Alaskan predator populations, including hunting wolves or coyotes with pups in tow, or using dogs or artificial light to rouse hibernating bears from their dens. Though the rule appears to offer greater protection for wolves and grizzlies, the state will still target any predators that wander outside federal boundaries.

Read more: "Alaska's wolves and Bears get new protections."

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