Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Chugach closed to Wolverine Trapping

Citing concerns over regional wolverine numbers, the Board of Game voted to close Chugach State Park to wolverine trapping (via DNM). I've the sneaking suspicion, buoyed by some of the comments I've been reading around, that the decision to close has more to do with the by-catch issues than concerns over wolverine demography. The issue of the number of wolverines trapped equaling the number of dogs isn't terribly surprising to me for two reasons -
  • First, this area was just opened up to trapping for wolverine, which means there's a brief `idiot period` where people are trying to feel out where the animals are and aren't.
  • Second, wolverines are never at high density to begin with, so there'll never be a large number you can show people to see there's a lot of successful trapping. That's why wolverine prices are perpetually high.
That whole area is rapidly turning into a combination shooting gallery/clusterfuck. Well, I say `turning into,` but it already is. I'm not sure there's a graceful way to deal with the competing pressures, and the rapid change in land use and lifestyle.

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