So, where does all this leave the Marco Polo hunting program? According to every outfitter/agent we spoke with, hunters should see no appreciable change in the order of things. That certainly appears to be the case, as we have heard that despite the upheaval, Kygyzstan game officials managed to deliver their annual game surveys and other required information to US Fish & Wildlife Service in late-April.
While researching the Kyrgyz situation for this report, incidentally, we enquired about the fate of Amantur Samykbaev, who had just been promoted to director of the Department of Biosphere Protection when we met him at the recent SCI Convention in Reno. Samykbaev told us at SCI that one of his goals was to bring what he says are burgeoning wolf populations in check. He told us he believed that wolves were the greatest threat to Kyrgyzstan's game populations, and he was implementing a state-funded program to deal with the problem. When we last checked, Samykbaev was still in his position, although that could change with the presidential election this summer. Either way, we hope his wolf control program sticks.