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Support the Candian Wolf Coalition!
November 10, 2010
The Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre is forming a coalition for Canadian Wolves. For decades, small groups have been advocating for wolf conservation with little response from the government. We need to unite our voices so that we can accomplish change. By improving networking among researchers and activists, and by coming together as one unified body, we will have a stronger, more powerful voice for wolves.
The Grey wolf (C. lupus) has been lost from much of its former range across the Northern hemisphere due to human actions. In Canada, wolves are not protected outside of National Parks. In the past few decades, human use has intensified both within parks and surrounding these protected areas. Pressures from industrial, commercial, and recreational activities are compromising the ecological integrity of these ‘wilderness areas’. (13) Currently, most protected areas are too small and too isolated to ensure adequate protection of biodiversity and ecological integrity. (13)
The Central Rockies represent a unique ecological region of Canada, and wolves (C. lupus) here have geographically distinct subpopulations, varying from B.C.’s coastal wolves and Eastern Canada’s red wolves (C. rufus). We need to set goals to conserve genetic diversity in large carnivores.
Biologists researching wolves on behalf of Parks Canada have recognized C. lupus as a keystone species, capable of causing a trophic cascade when populations dip below a critical threshold (2). As wolves’ numbers decline, elk density increases and adversely affects the growth of aspen and willow, with reduced plant biomass resulting in a reduction of active beaver lodges, negatively affecting songbird abundance and diversity (3). As the number of grey wolves declines in the Central Rockies, a cascade effect is observed in which small mammals, fish, insects, birds, amphibians, ungulates, tree species and vegetation all suffer.(16)
It is time for action, not further studies. Wolves will ALWAYS be partially dependant upon adjacent provincial lands. A World Wolf Congress held in 2003 agreed that ‘co-operation between neighbouring jurisdiction is needed to ensure the survival of wolves in the central Rockies’.(8)
As Hummel and Pettigrew state, “Top predators are among the most outstanding achievements of wilderness, evolving over hundreds of centuries to preside at the top of the natural food chain. Now we challenge Canadians to wake up in time to make sure such outstanding achievements stay with us”. (1) “If we’re not saving top predators, we’re not saving true wilderness. And if we are not saving true wilderness, we will not save top predators” (1)
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