Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Environment

The Silving Lining to Wolf Hunts

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Environmentalists are upset that wolves can now be legally hunted in Idaho and Montana. Michael Hutchins provides some necessary context to this emotional issue:

There is no doubt that some individuals and organizations will have a difficult time shifting from a mindset where wolves are rare creatures that need every protection to one where wolves are common and can become pests. To quote a 2005 article by Jim Robbins in Conservation in Practice (October-December: 28-34), "In the wake of successful wolf reintroductions, managers who once fervently defended wolves are now faced with killing them. Are we ready for modern predator management?"

Hutchins then points to a similar "transition" that had take place when the alligator population rebounded in Florida.

Once perilously close to extinction, these large reptiles have recovered as the result of government protection. There are now some 1-2 million in Florida alone. In order to manage potential conflicts between alligators and people, the state of Florida sanctions a regulated annual hunt. In addition, it removes another 15,000 or so gators a year following public complaints of aggressive behavior.

As a conservationist, I can only hope that we are faced with many more of these dilemmas, as it will mean that carnivore conservation has been a roaring success.

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In