Friday, May 14, 2010

MT Looks To Reduce Wolf Numbers

Mont. aims to reduce wolf numbers for first time
By MATT VOLZ (AP) – 16 hours ago

HELENA, Mont. — Montana wildlife commissioners approved a plan Thursday that aims to reduce the gray wolf population for the first time since the once-endangered animal was reintroduced to the region 15 years ago.

The proposal approved by the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission calls for at least doubling the number of wolves that hunters can kill and introducing an archery season to go with the rifle season.

The population of wolves in the northern Rockies has increased every year since they were reintroduced to the region in 1995 after being nearly wiped out in the last century due to conflicts with humans and loss of habitat.

There were at least 524 wolves in Montana at the end of last year, and 1,706 wolves in the combined northern Rockies region of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and parts of Washington and Oregon, wildlife officials estimate.

Ranchers and hunters say the wolf population has now grown too high, which has led to more attacks on livestock and game. Read More

Wildlife management is essential for the health of the wildlife involved. I’ve shared with you before about what happens if humans don’t manage these populations. When those numbers get too high, Mother Nature causes them to starve to death or unleashes devastating diseases that wipe out significant portions of them. That certainly doesn’t appear to be the humane option to me. Along with that, human safety and that of our domesticated animals needs to always be a priority in this equation. No wolf is worth a human life. Keeping a viable controlled population needs to be the goal.

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