I dont get if your being sarcastic or what not, but
is the fur at least used as clothing and the meat eaten? Is this just for sport or is this for population control if they have no natural predators around? I know they do this in other parts of the world for population control and it helps to protect other wild life.
Good questions, Asada, I’ve heard, tangentally, that no, the fur is NOT used and the meat not eaten, and also that it’s not about population control but merely about “sport”, or, as I interpret that word, the joy of killing things from far enough away you’re never in any danger.
However, feel free to contradict me on these points. I’d be interested in knowing if you found out something different.
As an Australian, coming from a culture where we have had to kill huge numbers of animals introduced by our idiotic ancestors, (including, even, ‘native’ animals which were shipped to a part of the country where they shouldn’t be e.g. koalas), I am no stranger to the arguments for shooting. Feral camels, dogs, goats, birds and smaller rodenty things have wreaked havoc upon our environment (Feral people is another story…).
I would have thought that this ad couldve done better than pulling on heartstrings. Tell me WHY they are being killed. I think koalas are cute, but go ahead and chop them up if it’s going to save the ecosystem and other larger koala populations. The weak argument of this ad is irritating – especially because it’s spoken (softly) by a woman. It seems to run on an ‘emotiony wimmins’ track. bleh.
Hi – I’m generally a lurker here, but I’m Alaskan, so maybe I can explain the aerial hunting situation a little better. (Sundry disclaimers: I’m a lifelong Alaskan; I’m white; I grew up rural and live on the outskirts of a large-ish town now; I’m not an expert on any of this.)
The aerial hunts have been conducted by the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game over the last few years in five (of 26) game management units to theoretically raise the declining moose/caribou population in those areas by reducing wolf numbers. The number of wolves killed is a couple hundred a year out of 7,000 to 11,000 in the state. In *theory*, the hunts are conducted only where they are necessary to raise moose/caribou numbers for subsistence hunting. (Many Alaskans, especially rural and Native Alaskans, depend on hunting for food — rural food prices are sky-high.) In actual *practice*, though, it’s controversial whether a) it has any effect at all, and whether b) it’s being done to help out subsistence hunters or more for the benefit of urbanites and non-Alaskans who hunt moose more for sport/trophies than meat.
Alaskans are split on the aerial hunts; ballot measures to ban them tend to run about 50-50. Personally I find them distasteful and wasteful, but it’s a complicated issue with roots in our rural/urban and class divisions, and I don’t think it’s wise to rule them out as a possible tool if the prey populations are crashing to the point where it’s affecting human quality of life in people who depend on the herd for meat. I’m not convinced that’s the case here, but the ad conveniently leaves out the reason why the hunts are being conducted, and the fact that there’s a fairly low cap on the number of animals killed each year. (Typically, they don’t come anywhere near the cap, too, which was why they instituted the bounty that was mentioned in the ad — in the hopes of reducing the wolf population to Fish & Game’s recommended numbers for those areas. It was almost immediately blocked by the courts and never really had a chance to take effect, though.)
The lodges in Alaska rely on tourism from big game hunters and by killing the wolves, they are giving a big artificial boost to the moose and caribou populations. Lots of these places guarantee hunters at lease one trophy kill. This is not about maintaining healthy populations or sustenance hunting. That is total crap. Suburban business men from California flying to Alaska for a month to have a guide help them shoot a moose are not hunting for sustenance. It’s really telling how everyone keeps spinning Sarah Palin’s big business pro-greed policies into pro-native and pro-sustenance policies. It just isn’t true!
Joy Harjo just posted some numbers and info on her blog about Palin’s supposed Native friendly policies.
Also, if Alaskans are the rugged woodspeople they claim to be, they should be hunting wolves traditionally and not from helicopters, leaving the meat and fur to rot in the woods. Why wouldn’t the government subsidize traditional trappers who can maintain the wolf population while simultaneously producing an income through fur production?
Sorry, but I just returned from a summer in Alaska and it was very frustrating to constantly hear that “you are from the lower fortyeight so you don’t understand,” defense for all the destructive environmental practices going on.
As an apex predator, wolves are actually beneficial to the herds of caribou and moose by removing sick, weak, old, and injured individuals–and doing it quickly, so that their deaths are not slow, as in starvation or illness.
Human predation tends to single out the best of the best, removing the most robust individuals from the gene pool. While human hunters often do eat their kill, they still aren’t going to seek out an older, weaker prey. Wolves don’t have egos to inflate, just bellies to fill.
The science behind the “need” to slaughter wolves in Alaska is pretty flimsy, and the population declines have more to do with harsh weather and other environmental factors than hunting pressure from wolves. Besides, if you really want to take a look at where all those moose and caribou are going, the biggest complaint is that there isn’t enough meat to satisfy the HUMANS. I don’t see anyone voting to gun them down, though.