Nature maintains wolf population

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, January 02, 2004

I must have missed something regarding the governor's decision to permit the killing of 40-45 wolves in the McGrath area and another 100 in the Nelchina Basin. On a talk show a couple weeks ago I thought I heard someone who works for the state say that for each of the past 10 years approximately 40 percent of permitted moose hunters, at least in the McGrath area, had taken moose. He seemed to think that was a reasonable success rate due to the difficulty of the hunt.

If the same number of permits have been offered each of these last 10 years, that sounds to me like a pretty stable population of moose. If wolves were killing too many moose, wouldn't the hunters be less successful? If for some reason I have not heard, there is a marked decrease in the number of moose in those areas, wouldn't it make sense to decrease the number of permits offered?

My understanding is that when the food sources for wolves decrease, they self-limit their pack size by birthing fewer pups, thus decreasing the number of predators. This is the way nature has maintained her balance for hundreds of thousands of years. So why do we need to shoot wolves? Perhaps it is we who need to take a look at self-limiting.

Linni Esther

Juneau



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