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FWP Considers Wolf Trapping Buffer Zones Around Yellowstone Park

wolf and elk
Photo courtesy of Kamia the Wolf/Flickr

On Monday, Montana’s Fish Wildlife and Parks commission will meet to discuss the possibility of creating a no wolf-trapping buffer zone around Yellowstone national park.

The move was initiated by Montana Wildlife commissioner Shane Colton, after five collared wolves were killed legally in areas outside the park this year.

“In our opinion there’s no reason that we should have buffer zones,” says Mark Holyoak,Director of Public Relations for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, “In essence what a buffer zone would do would put a special designation on these wolves . . . when in reality their just the same as all other wildlife out there.”

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Holyoak says that wolves continue to have a devastating impact on elk populations and that this isĀ  part of the reason why collared wolves from the park are being shot further and further away from their original hunting grounds. “Before the reintroduction of the wolf there were approximately 20,000 elk in Yellowstone” explains Holyoak, “today there are somewhere around 4,000, so that herd has taken a significant hit. So, wolves that leave Yellowstone are looking for food, they’re looking for prey.”

Montana’s first wolf trapping season is scheduled to begin on December 15th.

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