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Canadian Wolf Coalition.. "Wolf Sterilization Management?"

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Gary Allen of the Canadian Wolf Coalition forward the following letter to me.  It details the wolf management plans for areas in Canada, and plans for aerial hunting and sterilization of wolves.   Please read,..
1. Will you please provide me with the number of wolves removed from the Quesnel Highland project each year up to TODAY?  (Including wolves killed by accident through capture for sterilization).
Project Sterilizations and removals
2. Will you please provide me with numbers of wolves removed in same area by registered hunters and trappers, or for livestock purposes?
·         For the period of 1999 to 2007, 15 wolves were reported trapped in MU 5-15 (most of the caribou habitat is found in this unit).  Not sure of the kill locations, but I’m sure not all occurred the MC recovery area.
·         For the period of 2000-2009, 54 wolves were reported harvested in MU 5-15.  The years 2001 (20 reported harvested), 2007 (11 reported harvested) and 2008 (22 reported harvested) had the highest estimated harvests.  Use extreme caution when interpreting wolf  summary statistics harvest data.  Basically, it’s probably not very accurate.  Estimates of harvest, number of hunters and days for resident are derived from reports on the Hunter Sample that are then expanded to the population of hunters purchasing BC resident hunting licenses. We have also significantly reduced the density in the study area and I find it hard to believe they could find that many wolves to harvest.

3. Will you please provide me with the numbers of PLANNED removals over the next year?

·         For this fiscal the plan was to remove 15 animals.  Without rotary aircraft support this number will not be achieved.
·         What we plan and what we achieve are dependent on a variety of factors including funding, weather and success at locating wolves.

4. Will you please provide me with the number of wolves sterilized each year for the project up to TODAY, including future plans?

·         The table in response to question 1 gives the historical sterilization info. The plan for this fiscal was to sterilize approximately 10 wolves (Approximately 3 new packs and a few stragglers).

5. Will you please provide me with a copy of the plan for this year since it was revisited in June, and any other new material that may be useful in understanding the scope of the project?

·         I have attached the most recent report for the project prepared by Regional staff.

In regards to your examination of the “big picture” of wolf management. I think you need to accurately characterize the different aspects of that picture.  There is a wolf control program to address livestock issues across the province.  It recently returned to the Conservation Officers Service for delivery.   As you are aware, the objectives for that program are narrowly focussed on removing wolves where there are demonstrated losses of livestock to wolves. This could be described as reducing economic loss or protecting a financial investment.
The wolf management being conducted to support mountain caribou recovery is grounded in a conservation objective.  While this management does include wolf removal, including the experimental approach being piloted in Region5, it also includes monitoring and inventorying wolves, assessing pack territory size and habitat use.  As we have discussed in the past, we feel we need aggressive wolf removal as a tool to use in those situations where a conservation loss or, in the case of a transplant, conservation investment is threatened.  The sterilization project in Region 5 is an attempt to assess how effective and practical this technique is.
Chris Ritchie
Fish and Wildlife Recovery Manager
Fish, Wildlife and Habitat, Prince George
(250) 614-9910
“But nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight —
Got to kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight”

Bruce Cockburn 1983
Wolves in Canada need our support.   They are facing the same battles and hardships as are the wolves in the lower 48, but are without the protection of the Endangered Species Act.  Wolves know no boundaries and are documented  to cross to and from Canada frequently.  They should not be subjected to aerial hunting and sterilization as a means to control depredation on livestock, when many ranchers do not take active measures to protect their livestock with other non invasive measures such as range riding.  There are many things they can do without randomly killing wolves, and we need to loudly support the Canadian Wolf Coalition in their efforts to save the wolf populations in Canada.

Please click on the link below to learn more about the wolves in Canada…

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