Target:
ADF&G Director Bruce Dale, ADF&G Regional Supervisor Ryan Scott, FSB Chair Anthony Christianson
Region:
United States of America
Website:
m.facebook.com

Prince of Wales wolf population declined 60% in just one year from 221 individuals in 2013 to 89 wolves in 2014 with another 29 wolves killed during the 2014-2015 hunting and trapping season. During the 2016-2017 season, 28 wolves were killed from this already tiny population. The quota was set at 11. These totals only indicate the reported kills. The hunting, trapping and poaching of wolves on Prince of Wales island needs to come to a full stop or extirpation is imminent.


ADF&G Director
Bruce Dale
bruce.dale@alaska.gov

ADF&G Regional Supervisor
Ryan Scott
ryan.scott@alaska.gov

Anthony Christianson, Chair - FSB subsistence@fws.gov

Dear Mr. Dale, Mr. Scott, and Mr. Christianson,

The Alexander Archipelago wolf population continues to decline on Prince of Wales, with distributions that are no longer sufficient to maintain genetic viability.

As you already know, the Prince of Wales wolf population declined 60% in just one year from 221 individuals in 2013 to 89 wolves in 2014 with another 29 wolves killed during the 2014-2015 hunting and trapping season, leaving as few as possibly 60 individuals. Please remember these numbers indicate reported kills only.

Steve Brockmann, a federal employee from USFWS, indicated that there is evidence which suggests that the continuing decline of wolves on the island has to do with over-harvesting.

Jump ahead to the 2016-2017 season, and again an over quota; 28 wolves were killed from this already tiny population. The quota was set at 11. Again, this total indicated just the reported kills.

Both the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Federal Subsistence Board attempt to enforce a season’s Prince of Wales wolves quota by counting skins that are brought in for sealing. The FSB regulation requires that skins taken by hunting & trapping must be sealed within 14 days, making overquota inevitable. The ADF&G allows 30 days for “skin” sealing of wolves killed on Prince of Wales, a guaranteed overquota. Regardless of which “skin sealing” time limit applies, it is nearly impossible to enforce such the small quotas for wolves on the island.

Further compounding this disastrous situation is the unregulated amount of, and location of, trappers and hunters. Neither the State nor the FSB have regulations that limit number of trappers or hunters who may take Prince of Wales wolves in GMU-2.

Factor in the approval of the Big Thorne timber sale and the fate for the decimated wolf population on the island will be sealed. Extirpation is imminent.

In the mid 1990s, 250–350 wolves were thought to inhabit the Alexander Archipelago. The Big Thorne project area, located on the Prince of Wales Island, had sufficient habitat to support 45–50 wolves, making up three separate packs and a portion of a fourth pack. A project, funded primarily by the Forest Service, estimated that by fall 2012, only about 29 wolves and only two packs remained in the Big Thorne project area. By spring of 2013, researchers could only account for a mere six to seven wolves left in the project area. Another researcher observed that “numbers seem to indicate that the population of wolves
in the central portion of Prince of Wales Island is approaching zero.

We, the undersigned, request a suspension of the State's hunting and trapping season, and a halt to the subsistence harvest for wolves on POW (GMU-2). Please protect the Alexander Archipelago wolves on the island.

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