The World Watches Alaska’s Treatment of Wolves

On April 11th, 2013, the National Park Service issued a press release titled Yukon-Charley Rivers Wolf Numbers Decline. (Read the press release here – PDF format, 256k)

The Park Service states that:

“The number of wolves in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve has decreased by more than 50 percent from fall 2012, according to biologists who took advantage of late winter snow conditions to fly surveys of the 2.5 million acre conservation area. The drop is substantially more than normal and coincides with predator control efforts by Alaska Department of Fish and Game conducted near the preserve. 

This fall-to-spring drop in the number of wolves which den or spend a portion of their lives in the national preserve appears to be the highest on record. Based on 20 years of data for wolves that use Yukon-Charley Rivers, a typical drop over the winter is in the 11% to 37% range. That decline comes from a mix of traditional hunting and trapping both in and out of the national preserve, starvation and other natural mortality.”

Response to this news has been widespread, from both inside and outside the state. Below are links to just some of the media coverage from around the state and around the world.

  • Alaska Dispatch, April 11th, 2013 By Craig Medred :  Has Alaska wolf-control forced park population to nosedive?
  • Alaska News Nightly (Radio), April 11th, 2013
  • KTOO Juneau, April 12th, 2013, By Heather Bryant: Wolves in Yukon-Charley National Preserve drop by more than half (Story includes a map of the area)
  • San Francisco Chronicle,  April 12th, 2013, By Mary Pemberton, Associated Press : Wolves in national preserve drop by more than half
  • The above AP story also ran in these media outlets: Seattle PI, 77Square Madison WI, Beaumont Enterprise, TX,, Dayton Ohio
  • Science World Report, April 13th, 2013, by Catherine Griffin: Number of Alaska Wolves Drops by More Than 50 Percent: Predator Control Program to Blame
  • French Tribune, April 13th, 2013, by Rance Leroy: Number of Wolves Halved in One Year in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
  • KTUU Anchorage, April 12th, 2013, by Dan Carpenter: Wolf Numbers Decline 50 Percent in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve (with video and audio interviews)
  • National Parks Traveler, April 12th, 2013: Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve’s Wolf Population Plummets, NPS Blames State Of Alaska’s Hunting Regs