Wolf trophy hunting was described as sustainable and even acceptable by Dan Stark, a specialist in large carnivores for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, in the March 13 article “Wolves again in cross hairs.”
Stark never mentioned several important facts that are vital to this conversation.
DNR estimates of the wolf population are woefully inaccurate, and the method fatally flawed. The DNR has not, and does not, count wolves: It uses collared wolves to estimate a pack territory size and an average number of wolves per pack. It then guesses at a “total” number of wolves. That is bad enough, but about half of the collared wolves — upon which this flawed model depends — have been found dead, have gone missing or have had their collars malfunction during the past two years of population reports.
Additionally, Stark did not state how estimates dropped by 25 percent after the first hunting and trapping season of 2012. In fact, the DNR even reported this to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and wolf numbers have not returned to pre-hunt levels. In one season, the DNR wiped out 30 years of conservation efforts and funding and brought wolf numbers to nearly 1988 levels.
Most important, we have no understanding of wolf genetic diversity and what the wolf can tolerate in order to survive for future generations.
It is time the DNR stop discussions about wolf hunting and instead work toward protecting wolves for future generations.
MAUREEN HACKETT, HOPKINS, MN
The writer is president and founder of Howling For Wolves