A conservation group says privately funded bounties on wolf kills are shifting control over Alberta's wildlife management to special interest groups.

The Alberta Wilderness Association is concerned about wolf bounties that are funded by trappers and hunting groups, some of them based in the United States.

It says hundreds of wolves are being killed in the province's western foothills every year because of bounties that can easily triple the value of a wolf pelt.

The group is also concerned about a proposal from the Alberta Fish and Game Association that would extend bounties on wolves across the entire province.

A Fish and Game spokesman says wolves are growing in number and are putting increased pressure on popular big-game animals such as elk and moose.