Photos on the page by Peter Dettling
ISSUES FACING WOLVES
As other countries are “rewilding” landscapes by reintroducing wolves and other carnivores in an effort to restore ecological balance, many provinces in Canada are still exploiting wolves and apex predators using inhumane methods.
Science continues to be ignored in Canada when it comes to the management and conservation of large carnivores. As other countries are “rewilding” landscapes by reintroducing wolves and other carnivores in an effort to restore ecological balance, many provinces in Canada are still exploiting wolves and apex predators using inhumane methods:
Indiscriminate poisoning - In Canada, long-outdated policies continue to allow the use of three reckless and violent poisons to kill wildlife. They are inhumane, with symptoms being extremely painful and prolonged before death. Indiscriminate killers, they have claimed the lives of people and pets in addition to wildlife.
Aerial gunning of wolves in BC and Alberta - Under the guise of caribou recovery, wolves are being killed as scapegoats while industry and recreation continues in critical caribou habitat. Both provinces have been killing wolves for more than a decade and plan to continue, yet caribou numbers have not increased. Read More.
Bounty killing programs have returned to Alberta and Saskatchewan - Indiscriminate killing of wild canids has been linked to increased conflicts with livestock the following year.
Lax hunting and trapping regulations across the country - Including no bag limits, no closed seasons, no quota and no mandatory reporting.
The main threats to the survival of wolves include loss of habitat due to destruction, development, and encroachment of humans.
Large carnivores require vast territories and habitat in order to secure enough food for survival. This often brings them into contact, and sometimes conflict, with people who may view wolves as competition for human food resources.
As our population continues to expand, human tolerance and a willingness to coexist with large carnivores is becoming ever more important on a global scale.
Wolves are still directly persecuted in a variety of ways. North American wildlife policies are still rooted in a model that sought to eradicate wolves and other large carnivores, or tolerate them only at levels below their ecological effectiveness. In BC alone, wolves were extirpated in vast portions of the province on three occasions the previous century. Over time they were able to recover, but always within diminished and degraded habitats in reduced numbers.
Unfortunately, habitat loss and fragmentation combined with direct human persecution of wolves puts this iconic animal in a position where conservation efforts and education about this species are critical to help ensure that wolves can continue to function as nature intended across the wilderness that remains in Canada. The preservation of wilderness is inextricably linked to the conservation of wolves; wolves occupy large territories, live in low densities, and are sensitive to human disturbance.