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Thread: Predator Control

  1. #1
    Member akfaller's Avatar
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    Default Predator Control

    I am writing a paper on the predators of Alaska and I'm interested in the arguments that this issue will bring up. "Predator Control" although I'm sure most of you are in agreement as to why predator control has been initiated, I'd like to here some debates as to why or why not control tactics should be used.

    Let me get it started.
    Moose and wolves/bears coincide with each other, as a result when populations of moose go up, so do wolves/bears and vice versa. Why should we get in the mix of it, can't we just let nature take its course? That's how it was for years before mankind became involved.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by akfaller View Post
    ...before mankind became involved.
    Well, there you go. Can't sit around without monkeying with something, now can we?

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    akfaller - You'll find lots of information and well thought out points on both sides of this issue in the Game Management forum. Incidentally, man is involved - be it through hunting, changes in habitat, etc. - so considering what it was like before humans were in the picture is a moot point. Additionally, our constitution mandates that we manage our game for a sustained yeild. Many would argue that not taking an active role in game management would be unconstitutional. Anyhow, take a look at the many threads in the game management forum for additional detail.

  4. #4
    Member jkb's Avatar
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    I've talked to Biologists and they have told me when a ungulate population crashes due to bear or wolf predation. You end up with a predator pit, with few or no ungulates, the predators have fewer pups or cubs and eat rabbits and other small prey. When an ungulate calf is born it is quickly eaten keeping the population at a depressed level.

    We have learned from the reintroduction of wolves in the western lower 48 that they come back quickly. All you have to do is look at the animal shelter to see how fast a canine population can grow. After all as much as some admire wolves they a just large wild canines. The population would have to be poisoned and a bounty to wipe out wolves in a locality.

    If you keep wolf and bear populations down long enough for the ungulates to rebound you can have a situation like around Delta Junction. An abundance of moose and bears as well as wolves. Just my .02
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by akfaller View Post
    I am writing a paper on the predators of Alaska and I'm interested in the arguments that this issue will bring up. "Predator Control" although I'm sure most of you are in agreement as to why predator control has been initiated, I'd like to here some debates as to why or why not control tactics should be used.

    Let me get it started.
    Moose and wolves/bears coincide with each other, as a result when populations of moose go up, so do wolves/bears and vice versa. Why should we get in the mix of it, can't we just let nature take its course? That's how it was for years before mankind became involved.
    The impact commercial hunting has on wildlife resources today with mechanized transportation, creating easy access and modern equipment has introduced an economy of scale that is not natural to the system.

    The commercial hunting regulations (IMO) have greatly influenced the need for predator management now AND have the potential of reducing the benefit of ANY controls or management philosophy implemented if the commercial interest in the resources is not controlled parallel to any predator management initiatives.

    Right now the debate seems to be only about Predator control; killing bears and wolves, and thats a one dimensional approach to a needed correction for the unbalanced system we have created.

    The dynamic approach to "control" and stabilizing the system would include reigning in the commercial hunting industry; otherwise it may not matter how many bears or wolves are killed or not killed by "controls".


  6. #6
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    One of the most fundamental principals of any wildlife management is that natural cycles are undesireable. They result in extinction of species, predator sinks and many years of low, excessive or nonexistant populations in areas. Hunting and trapping can assist in maintaining more balanced wildlife populations that are not vulnerable to extinction, imbalance or drastic fluctuations. Unfortunately, Alaska is so large and inaccessable that in most of Alaska hunting and trapping are unable to influence these natural cycles. Thats why we need predator control. For instance, in Alaska the general hunting season harvests a fraction of the black bear population possibly 10 times less than the population can support. That leaves very few moose to eat in some areas as the bears eat them all. In fact, the number of Alaskan moose harvested by hunters overall is small and almost all the moose killed are by predators. Hunting opportunities are scare due to the huge numbers of predators. And Alaska values our subsistance heritage. Thats just one example, but your basic "predator and prey populations coincide" premise is unfortunately what a lot of antihunters believe but they ignore harsh realities of natural cycles and populations.

    Good luck on your paper.
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