Saturday, July 22, 2017

Is it ethical to kill one species to promote the hunting of another on national park and refuge land?

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The Interior Dept. ordered a review of federal rules that prevent hunters from killing bears and wolves using techniques many people consider extreme: killing bear cubs and sows with cubs, baiting grizzlies with rotting meat, trapping and snaring bears, and killing wolves while they are raising pups among other controversial methods in Alaska's national parks and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Why? Alaska wants to kill predators to increase moose and caribou populations for the benefit of hunters. More...

“Alaska's national parks and wildlife refuges are required by federal law to be managed not as private game reserves but to protect natural diversity, including natural predator-prey dynamics,” said Rick Steiner, a retired University of Alaska professor and PEER board member, pointing out that lethal control on park boundaries are devastating in-park wolf populations. “The State of Alaska’s unethical predator control practices have no place in modern society, and certainly not on Alaska’s magnificent national parks and refuges.”

The Interior is pressing forward despite a recent study by scientists for the state game department showing that predator control has little effect on the growth or decline of herds on which they prey. “We detected no convincing support for decreased wolf predation during control,” the study said. “We also detected no support for increased caribou survival during nonlethal or lethal wolf control.” [Read the study here]

What say you? Is it ethical to kill one species to promote the hunting of another on national park and refuge land?

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