Gray wolf (Canis lupus) populations are recovering in many parts of the world and managers from various jurisdictions will be faced with difficult decisions as wolf populations continue to increase. Wolf management in Alberta, Canada, is achieved mostly through trapping on a registered trapline system. Wolf harvest increased over the last 22 years relative to population increases. Most wolf harvests occurred in the Rocky Mountains and surrounding foothills area and this pattern was consistent over time. On average, trappers only harvested an estimated 9.8% of the provincial population annually despite the lack of bag limits or quotas. Harvests are spatially autocorrelated with peak autocorrelation coinciding with average home-range size for wolves in Alberta. When wolf control actions are deemed necessary, trappers are unlikely to remove a sufficient number of wolves over a large enough area to limit subpopulations under the registered trapline system.
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Vol. 74 • No. 4