The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service rejected once again federal protection to the Alexander Archipelago wolf, constantly demanded by conservationists for over 20 years.
Government denied his feature on the endangered and threatened species list due to the fact that the Alaskan wolf is considered “stable”, officials said.
Even though the wolf population has declined over the last years, the current population it is considered healthy and in no need to be protected by the list, they added.
The state is committed to protect the wolf with others measures like improved forest management and hunting practices, declared Bruce Dale, the director of the division of wildlife within the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said to Los Angeles Times.
The wolf is endemic to the forest region around the southeast part of Alaska and on the coast of British Columbia, according to last surveys. However, the Alexander Archipiélago wolf can be found in smalls packs on the Prince of Wales Islands, and is this specific pack that the activist are focus on protecting. Sources said that due to the logging in the area the wolf populations in the island has decreased from 300 to 50 in a few years.
Deer population has also decreased in the island due the logging, and being the deer the wolf natural prey, it contributed to the disappearance of the wolf.
The main argument for the protection of this specific population is that they are, according to scientific evidence, genetically different to the rest of the Alexander Archipelago wolves in others parts of the world.
The government response to this argument was that the genetic data do not show significant variations within the different wolves populations, and the Prince of Wales Islands population it is not persisting in an unusual or unique ecological setting.
They also added that the population in the island only constitute 6 % of the current estimated population and 4 % of the range of the Alexander Archipelago wolf. So any negative change will not impact the specie in a significant way, government officials added.
Source: Los Angeles Times