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Although only 225 rare Alexander Archipelago wolves remain on Prince of Wales Island, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game and the U.S. Forest Service announced Friday that hunters will be allowed to hunt and trap 45 wolves on Prince of Wales and associated islands this fall and winter hunting season, and on federal lands no less.

Any hunting or trapping of these rare wolves is already controversial.

The Alexander Archipelago wolf is a genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf that dens in the roots of old-growth trees in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. Its populations are already fragile, threatened by logging and hunting.

Three years ago, after a 60% drop in the population in just one year, the wolves were feared endangered and twice petitioned to be listed under the Endangered Species Act. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed that protecting them under the ESA “may be warranted.”

Despite this, Alaska Department of Fish and Game will allow hunters to hunt and trap 20% of the Alexander Archipelago wolves on Prince of Wales while U.S. Department of Agriculture is working to undermine safeguards for the Tongass’s centuries-old trees – the only home for these wolves and their prey.

 

 

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Thank you all so much for your kindness following the passing of Ambassador Wolf Atka. While he leaves an enormous hole in our family, it is heartwarming to know that his spirit lives on in so many.

Thousands of people from all over the world have reached out to us. You shared comforting words, heartfelt memories, artwork, poems, and flowers. To see over four hundred local friends at Atka’s open house memorial meant so much to us, and we know Atka would have enjoyed seeing you there too.

Atka worked to create a better world for wolves, and so will we.

Help us celebrate him with your purchase of apparel from our limited edition ‘Guardian Spirit’ collection featuring a hand-drawn image of Atka himself by artist Jane Lee McCracken.

SHOP HERE

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Understanding prey selection by predators is a fundamental goal in ecology because it represents an essential ecological process influencing behavior, community structure, and ecosystem productivity.

In a new paper published Wednesday in PLOS One, researchers explore how environmental factors like vegetation density, time of year, and home range size influence prey use by southeastern coyotes.

“We found that coyote packs relied mostly on deer, rabbits, and small mammals,” explained lead author of the study, Joseph Hinton, PhD of Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia.

Previous studies suggest that coyote predation of white-tailed deer in the southeastern
United States occurs primarily on fawns during the summer months, that predation on
adult deer is low, and most consumption of deer during winter is a result of scavenging – eating the carcasses discarded by deer hunters.

Hinton’s study, however, reveals that “adult deer were consumed year-round, indicating that coyotes are procuring deer via predation.”  Additionally, his findings suggest that “the use of fruit by coyotes was opportunistic, as the use of mammalian prey did not appreciably decrease with increasing use of fruit.”

These findings are novel because they suggest that the diets of southeastern coyotes consist primarily of mammalian prey procured through predation and not scavenging.

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