A famous wolf pack from Alaska might have been completely wiped out, according to the biologists who now try to understand the status of the Denali East Fork population.
The wildlife officials think that the primary cause of the disappearance is aggressive hunting.
The East Fork Wolf Pack
The Denali East Fork wolf pack was first documented in the 1930s, and the research offered valuable data on wolf behavior.
The pack was composed of a female and two puppies. The male was found dead at a hunting camp and since then the female and her pups completely vanished, and their den remained empty.
The Park Service wildlife biologist explained that, when they tried to look for signs at their den, the vegetation was growing around the entrance showing that it hadn’t been used in a long time.
The local wildlife advocacy groups believe that the disappearance of the East Fork wolf pack will lead to scandal because it’s one of the most known pairs in the history of the world. The individuals had been studied for 70 years without stop, and they became a source of inspiration for Adolph Murie who later wrote “Wolves of Mt. McKinley”.
Denali Park Wolf Population
There are another 50 wolves still living in the Denali Park, and their number is decreasing due to human activity.
Hunting is permitted outside the park. However, the hunters are approaching the entrance of the protected region and kill the animals that wander around. The officials noted that three out of the four wolfs that wore radio-collars were hunting victims.
The percentage of deaths caused by snaring or shooting is much larger than the previous rate of less than 20%.
In Denali Park, the biologists observed that one of the younger male wolves moved away from its mother and found a mate. Now, the young wolf is seeking a territory between the Wonder Lake and Toklat. The information is good news for wildlife experts who expect the population to expand.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service decided that hunters will be forbidden to inflict predator control inside the national refuges of Alaska. The only exception is the subsistence hunting performed by the indigenous communities.
The wildlife management decision comes to support people who believe that the intensive predator control could become abusive. Advocacy groups in Alaska have long brought to the public attention the fact that hunters killed wolf pups, mother bears with cubs, or they targeted animals from planes.
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