Wolf Shootings May Lead to Hunting Restrictions
7 Yellowstone wolves already killed
The recent shooting of collared gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park has Montana wildlife officials reconsidering hunting regulations in the area. While the wolf trapping season, the first since the animals came off the endangered species list a year ago, doesn’t begin until December 15, hunting is already underway in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Seven of Yellowstone’s estimated 88 wolves have already been shot while wandering outside the park.
Wildlife advocacy groups have been vocal about the need for a protective buffer zone around the park, saying that while hunting and trapping are prohibited inside the park, the wolves frequently travel outside that boundary. The shooting of collared wolves is particularly problematic, since officials cannot collect the data necessary for managing the population and protecting their territory.
Montana wildlife commissioner Shane Colton has told reporters that closing some areas to trapping or setting strict quotas will be discussed at a commission meeting on Monday. “We don’t want to close any area off if we don’t have to. But if we keep losing collared wolves … management becomes difficult,” Colton said. “We want to do this first trapping season right.”
Via Huffington Post