Helicopter wolf-kills help caribou calves
SURVEYS: Survival rate soars after shooters thin a herd's predators.
By CRAIG MEDRED firstname.lastname@example.org (11/11/08 22:53:19)
Slaughtering wolves on the Alaska Peninsula appears to have had the desired effect -- more caribou got a chance to live, according to biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
As ugly and as politically incorrect as the wolf killing might seem to some, they said, the helicopter gunning that took place earlier this year saved caribou, especially young caribou, from being eaten alive.
Fall surveys of the Southern Alaska Peninsula caribou herd completed in October found an average of 39 calves per 100 cows. That's a dramatic improvement from fall counts of only 1 calf per 100 cows in 2006 and 2007. Read More
I have talked before about the importance of managing wildlife to keep populations in check. Gov. Palin received her fair share of criticism for the aerial hunting of wolves, but now it shows that the strategy is working quite well. People might not like this type of hunting, but it’s obvious that the caribou really appreciated it.