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Culling Wolves Will Not Save Caribou

Culling Wolves Will Not Save Caribou
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Caribou herds in Alberta and parts of British Columbia are nearing extinction. Environment Canada has unveiled a new plan to rebuild the dwindling herds in Alberta’s tar sands region. The primary suggestion is to cull their predators, the wolves.

Environment Minister Peter Kent’s remarks have been widely quoted: “Culling is an accepted if regrettable scientific practice and means of controlling populations and attempting to balance what civilization has developed. I’ve got to admit, it troubles me that that’s what is necessary to protect this species.”

As part of its attempt to rebuild the caribou population, Environment Canada will also allow more hunting of the deer and moose that share the habitat. But it is the proposed wolf cull that is causing the most controversy. Reporting in The Canadian Press, Heather Scoffield wrote:  ”Environment Canada’s research shows that 100 wolves would need to die for every four caribou calves saved.”

This comes on the heels of news that British Columbia is allowing ranchers and First Nations communities in the province’s Cariboo region to kill wolves that might attack livestock. Once again, wolves will pay the price for problems caused by humans.

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Wolf Photo from US Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species via Flickr Creative Commons; Moose photograph by Robin Jarman, used with permission; Caribou photograph by Cathryn Wellner

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173 comments

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2:46PM PST on Feb 15, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

4:38PM PST on Feb 6, 2013

Rosemary L. Thank you for the links I will be following through on all.

4:37PM PST on Feb 6, 2013

How do these idiots get into Office in the first place? This is insanity.

6:02PM PST on Nov 25, 2012

Once again, the real problem (for those of us who want to save native wildlife populations), is The Livestock Industry, whether it be in Canada or the western U.S.
People who care about remaining wildlife populations need to understand that the Livestock Industry and the Hunting Industry are usually working together: that ranchers are very often hunters and vice versa. No wild animals will be safe until we bring the Livestock Industry to its knees.
Here are some things to do: go to Care 2 and search "public lands ranching" and sign the petition (and please get this out on your networks, facebook, etc. Please spread the word--there are some dedicated groups out there who need your help, to stop the environmentally destructive Livestock Industry assault on native wildlife and their habitat.

Also: go to www.predatordefense.org; www.foranimals.org; & mikehudak.com, for some good information on predator control, livestock grazing issues, and the environmental impacts of both.

Finally, a plant-based diet will certainly help decrease the power of this terrible industry.

11:00AM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

Killing wolves because 'THEY MIGHT" kill livestock ? If you don't graze livestock in caribou or elk areas, then livestock will not be at risk. Did you ever think that grazing livestock in those areas is what IS REDUCING THE CARIBOU, ELK, or MOOSE ? And since WHEN is killing 100 wolves to save 4 caribou calves justified ? Legislators don't have a CLUE to the understanding of wildlife MANAGEMENT except for the MONEY from HUNTERS and CATTLEMEN. CULL wolves now, then you complain that the "too many" deer are eating up the countryside ! Listen to the specialists who have the scientific knowledge to manage wildlife the right way.

10:47AM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

And how many people even know that grizzlies ALSO kill caribou calves for food ? Bears do eat meat you know.

10:47AM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

And how many people even know that grizzlies ALSO kill caribou calves for food ? Bears do eat meat you know.

10:44AM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

The overgrazing of certain areas , lack of habitat/range in large tracts, and human encroachment has ALL contributed to reduced herds of caribou and elk. THERE ARE NOT TOO MANY WOLVES !!! There ARE too many PEOPLE !!! Maybe we should cull them instead, then the herds of caribou, deer and elk can get back to normal !

10:55AM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

“Life is as dear to the mute creature as it is to a man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not to die, so do other creatures.”
~ His Holiness The Dalai Lama

10:13AM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

Grazie delle notizie.

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