Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Montana Wildlife Commission pursues more aggressive wolf-killing

Trapping puts other species at risk, raises stakes unnecessarily
July 2012. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) Commission have approved changes to the 2012-2013 wolf hunting regulations that will allow widespread wolf trapping, triple the number of wolves an individual can kill in a single season, and eliminate hunt quotas across nearly the entire state.

The following is a statement from Mike Leahy, Rocky Mountain director for Defenders of Wildlife: "Montanans already live with 13,000 black bears and 3,500 cougars, so there's no reason we can't learn to live with 650 wolves as well. Sharing the landscape with these animals is an important part of life in the West and what makes Montana so special.

"We're disappointed to see Montana focusing on reducing the wolf population instead of maintaining it. Montana was a bright star in the region, showing everyone what a balanced, incremental approach to wolf management looked like. Now they're moving to kill hundreds more wolves unnecessarily when there is no legitimate need to do so.
Lynx and wolverine
"Trapping wolves could have serious impacts to rare, non-target species, including lynx and wolverine. Livestock losses to wolves were at a five-year low in 2011, so using that issue as a justification for this unnecessary program is disingenuous. Instead, FWP should prioritize using cost-effective nonlethal tools to reduce livestock conflicts."
500 wolves to be killed?
According to Montana FWP, to avoid relisting, Montana will comply with federal regulations to manage wolves in a manner that will guarantee that the state maintains at least a minimum of 150 wolves and 15 breeding pairs. This is worrying, given that there are thought to be 650 wolves in Montana, which means that they could kill 500!

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