Wolves in Alaska are not protected under state or federal law. Thus, despite the fact that hunting and trapping are illegal within Denali National Park itself, wandering wolves are often vulnerable as soon as they slip across the park’s boundary.
On March 30, 2018, Alaska officials issued an emergency order closing the wolf hunting and trapping season on state land adjacent to the eastern boundary of Denali over concerns that excessive kills may destabilize this iconic wolf population.
Photos posted April 3, 2018, by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) show a man armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle displaying ten wolf carcasses outside Denali.
For several years now, there has been a notable decline in the number of wolf sightings in Denali and research indicates that wolf mortality rates in the park have recently spiked to worrying levels, with the lowest estimated wolf density recorded since monitoring began in 1986.
Meanwhile, the percentage of sightseers who have spotted a wolf, according to random surveys, had dropped from 45% to just 5%.
It’s time for the state to make changes. It’s too late for many wolves, but perhaps their legacy is to mobilize us to establish a no hunting/trapping buffer adjacent to Denali National Park and Preserve!
Please help by taking action to protect Denali’s wolves!