Low snow could be affecting wolf mortality

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Low snow could be affecting wolf mortality

Post by Koa » Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:29 pm

The low snow levels in recent years for POW (Prince of Wales) wolves in Alaska may be affecting their survival. Read on.
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A memorandum from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Wildlife Conservation further explains the drastic decline in Prince of Wales’ wolf population, saying that in addition to known take, the 60 percent population fall may be due to deer being less vulnerable to wolves in low snow years.

“The known take of wolves from the study area prior to the 2014 estimate contributed to the lower estimate,” wrote research biologist Gretchen Roffler in a memorandum to regional supervisor Ryan Scott. “Other factors that may have reduced wolf numbers include, decreases in deer abundance, availability of non-ungulate prey, increases in disease in wolves, and increases in unreported wolf take. However, there is no indication that any of these factors are present. One possibility is a decrease in the vulnerability of deer to wolf predation causing subsequent decreases in recruitment and survival of wolves.”

The Sitka Field office of Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity put out a press release protesting ADF&G’s planned field season.

“Opening another trapping and hunting season on this small, declining population is madness,” said Larry Edwards of Greenpeace in the release. “Wolves in the Prince of Wales area are geographically and genetically isolated. This is simply unsustainable, posing a grave risk to the population.”

Despite the fact that female wolves were especially hard hit, from 50 percent to 25 percent of the population, Roffler said that if managed correctly, the population should be able to recover.

The Juneau Empire’s June 11 story is available here:
http://juneauempire.com/outdoors/2015-0 ... n-plummets.
Read more: http://m.juneauempire.com/outdoors/2015 ... #gsc.tab=0

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Re: Low snow could be affecting wolf mortality

Post by wolfadore » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:56 am

wow. that is pretty bad. I hope they can recover!
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