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Tar Sands Destroying Wolf & Caribou Populations In Canada

Tar Sands Destroying Wolf & Caribou Populations In Canada

Extracting oil from tar sands (aka oil sands) is detrimental to human health in a number of ways. It drastically increases greenhouse gas emissions, continues our society’s addiction to fossil fuels and puts soil and water quality at risk.

But these aren’t the only threats posed by tar sands projects like the Keystone XL pipeline.

A report recently published by the National Wildlife Federation has shown that tar sands oil extraction is directly responsible for dwindling caribou population numbers in Canada. And instead of admitting that this dirty, dangerous form of energy is killing the caribou by destroying its habitat, the Canadian government is pinning the blame on innocent wolves.

According to NWF, ”rather than improve environmental practices to protect and restore caribou habitat, Canadian wildlife officials are poisoning wolves with strychnine-laced bait. The news comes as Alberta and Canadian officials scramble to address environmental monitoring failures that are wreaking havoc up north.” Simon Dyer of the Pembina Institute estimates that many thousands of wolves could be destroyed over five years under Canada’s proposed plan.

Wild wolf in Scotland

Strychnine is a deadly poison known for an excruciating death that progresses painfully from muscle spasms to convulsions to suffocation, over a period of hours. These strychnine baits on the ground or spread them from aircraft in areas wolves are known inhabit.

Unfortunately, no one explained the purpose of these baits to the other animals that live in these areas, putting non-target animals like raptors, wolverines and cougars at risk of death by eating the poisoned baits or scavenging on the deadly carcasses of poisoned wildlife.

“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,” said Canada’s Minister of Environment Peter Kent, last September.

What Mr. Kent seems to have overlooked is that this cruel tactic is completely unnecessary, and only seems to make sense because Canada refuses to acknowledge the toll that tar sands oil extraction is taking on the environment and its native species.

 

Related Reading:

Ask DirecTV To Pull Its Anti-Wolf Ad

Western States Killing Wolves By The Hundreds

British Columbia Joins War On Wolves

 

Image  Credit: Flickr – pretendtious

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193 comments

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8:43AM PST on Feb 21, 2013

What is the need for more dirty energy than we need and for what...? we have clean energy... but not enough profit in it for the .1%??
What is the vendetta on the wolves and why wolves? Big old white men that were scared by them in bed time stories???

4:50PM PST on Feb 20, 2013

We are murdering our planet, thus ourselves.

EXTINCTION

4:54PM PST on Feb 6, 2013

So awful. The filthy tar sands destroys habitat for the caribou, so the answer is to poison the wolves? Sick!

4:52PM PST on Feb 6, 2013

How long does Peter Kent and all the other so called environment managers think they can get away with this B/S. All of us know perfectly well the truth here and every where with wolves, it's about farming, grazing, trophy hunting, big ego's and greed. Sickening SOB's.
We cannot allow these spin doctors to go unchallenged, keep fighting and speaking out, be relentless.

3:48PM PST on Feb 5, 2013

Here's just one of the reasons to blame humans. Shameful!

6:18PM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

scary

12:57PM PDT on Jul 26, 2012

Not surprising. Why do people need to see the consequences of their evil policies before they decide to (perhaps) change them?

8:30AM PDT on Jul 25, 2012

I find it incredible that those responsible for protecting our environment (such as Peter Kent and many others) are the very people who allow it's continued destruction. It seems 'we' haven't learned anything in the last 40 years. Very sad.

6:57AM PDT on Apr 26, 2012

How unbelievable cruel and there is nothing us Canadians can do about it - look at how long we have been fighting tooth and nail to stop the seal slaughter and now this - I am sickened to be called a Canadian and every person in the world should BOYCOTT CANADA especially it's seafood!

12:58AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

Stooping low to get what they want. I believe that.

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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