“Wolves in British Columbia are running out of places to hide. There are now plans to kill up to 184 wolves living in British Columbia before the snow melts. Wolves will be chased by helicopters until they are exhausted, and then shot under the guise of helping to recover dwindling caribou herds in the South Selkirk and South Peace areas.
A sad reality is that caribou are on their way out because of what people have already done. Caribou are in this situation because of us, not because of wolves. We have allowed the province and industry to destroy the habitat that caribou require. We have been watching this discussion take place for the past 50 years and allowing activities to continue in critical habitat. This conservation dilemma we are in is certainly difficult and problematic, yet it is a consequence of our neglect.
With the announcements to kill more wolves in the name of caribou recovery , there are several critical flaws that fly in the face of reason and scream to be heard. In recent decades we have learned more about the true nature of wolves as emotional and intelligent beings, and just how important they are in maintaining balance and biodiversity . So why has BC has just announced a new death sentence for wolves?
We the public deserve to become informed on how our tax dollars are being spent, to what end, and for how long. We deserve to know how BC’s iconic apex predators are treated and how our wildlife and wild places are being cared for. We deserve to have our input listened to and considered.
The decision to kill more wolves is scientifically unsound. Killing wolves to increase ungulate populations is an outdated management practice that has failed to increase ungulate populations long-term wherever it has been tried in the past. Wolf populations rebound quickly and dispersing wolves fill in the vacant space created where resident wolves have been killed. All evidence to date shows that killing wolves will not work to reduce predator numbers long term. This is not the first time wolf helicopter killing and sterilization has occurred in BC. All past efforts where wolves have been killed have failed to increase caribou numbers. So why would this be attempted again?
This is also a question of animal welfare. Are we as a society prepared to spend the next thirty years shooting wolves from helicopters (if not indefinitely)? Causing harm to hundreds of intelligent and sensitive animals for any reason should be questioned for its moral ground. As new wolves migrate into the area and populations rebound, killing hundreds of wolves would have to be continued in order to maintain the small herds of caribou. Some areas that have been protected for caribou are not only small, but they are isolated, (eg. South Selkirks), so ongoing wolf killing would likely continue to keep the small herds in existence without newcomers migrating in. Aerial shooting is not an approved method under Canada’s current guidelines on Approved Animal Care. Shooting wolves from helicopters violates animal care standards and is unjustifiable.
There are major ecological repercussions when wolves are disturbed, either by “removing” (AKA killing) or exploiting them. The ripple effects are detrimental to the behaviour and diversity of many other species and natural processes. Watch this video and learn more about the critical ecological role of wolves as a keystone species.
Tragically, the same scenario is playing itself out in Alberta and demands just as much attention and participation.
Over 7 years, more than 800 wolves were killed under the guise of protecting the Little Smokey Caribou herd, and there are plans to kill more. Read this article by Marc Beckoff about compassionate conservation and research, and what it means to kill this many wolves. The original “experiment” that killed so many Albertan animals can be read HERE.
Conservation, ecology, wolf social dynamics, animal welfare and ethical considerations were left out of this part of the caribou recovery plan and an apparent pre-determined agenda which encourages killing wolves has been exposed.
Please become informed and involved. This is a defining time for the values of Canadians.
Ecosystem DOES NOT EQUAL Egosystem.”
People who may be interested in hearing your thoughts:
The Honourable Christy Clark
PO Box 9041, Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC V8W 9E1
The Honourable Steve Thomson
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
PO Box 9049, Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC V8W 9E2
The Honourable Shirley Bond
Minister of Jobs, TOURISM, and Skills Training
PO Box 9071
STN PROV GOV
NDP FLNR Critic and Harry Baines
Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver
AND IN ALBERTA
The Honourable Jim Prentice, Premier
307 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6
Phone: 780 427-2251
Fax: 780 427-1349
The Honourable Kyle Fawcett, Minister
Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
Main Floor, Great West Life Building
9920 108 Street
Edmonton, AB T5K 2M4
Phone: 877 944-0313
Fax: 780 427-4407
Alberta Minister of Tourism and Culture
Honourable Maureen Kubinec
229 Legislature Building
10800 97 Avenue
Canada T5K 2B6
Phone: (780) 422-3559
Fax: (780) 427-7729
**Special thanks to “Wolf Awareness,” http://www.wolfawarenessinc.org/, for providing this information!