Friday, January 4, 2013

Wolf Hunt

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The good news about wolves in Minnesota is that the population has increased to the point that they are off the endangered species list.  It is estimated that there are over 3,000 wolves in the state.  

So, it comes as no surprise that controversy abounds during this first year that wolf hunting again was allowed in the state.  Various groups, including the Humane Society, seek to stop the hunt and plan to sue the state to reinstate protections for the wolf.

Hunting of animals is considered a sound strategy by wildlife managers and many in the Midwest have long traditions of hunting.  So, it is reasonable to allow modest hunting of wolves if managers find the populations able to sustain it.  Read more about this issue here at the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  I fully expect this to be an expensive and futile fight by the opponents of the hunt.  Minnesota has a very well respected game management organization and I doubt that they would open up a hunt if they felt it was unsustainable.  See the Minnesota DNR site on this issue here and here.  Wolf hunting is also allowed in Wisconsin where wolves were also delisted as an endangered species.  Each state has very limited quotas for the number of wolves that can be hunted each year.

The fact that there is a sustainable hunt of the animal is good news and a testament to the success of the Endangered Species Act in protecting animals and in bringing them back from the brink.

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