Wolf cull opposed by Ktunaxa, Wolf Centre

Helicopter hunt a ‘narrow and short term approach’ says Ktunaxa Nation; ‘morally indefensible’ says Northern Lights Wolf Centre

  • Jan. 18, 2015 7:00 p.m.
The B.C. government has ordered a cull of wolves in order to save threatened caribou herds.

The B.C. government has ordered a cull of wolves in order to save threatened caribou herds.

CAROLYN GRANT

Opposition to the provincial announcement of a wolf hunt conducted by helicopter to reduce numbers in order to protect the endangered mountain caribou population in the Selkirk mountain region has been swift to arrive.

The Ktunaxa Nations says it is deeply concerned about the plan.

“We are worried that this approach to conservation is extremely hasty,” said Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Council Chair. “We are deeply concerned about the very low numbers of caribou in the south Selkirk, but we believe that management efforts should focus on increasing the population of caribou. Wolves are not the primary cause of the caribou population decline in the region and killing wolves at this scale will have to continue for many years to effectively reduce the risk of wolf predation. Killing one species of animal to benefit another species is contrary to Ktunaxa stewardship values.”

Teneese says the caribou may be better served by a multi-faceted approach which includes restriction of access to and restoration of key caribou habitat, decreasing vehicle mortality and establishing breeding programs, including maternal penning.

“”This approach requires cooperation and commitment from all partners in Ktunaxa territory. We support monitoring of predation impacts, however, we strongly feel that these actions are a narrow and short term approach.

“Recovery planning and long term management of these caribou requires strong commitment to collaboration and adaptive co-management of the herd.”

Further doubts about the wolf cull come from the Northern Lights Wolf Centre, headquartered in Golden. Director Sophie Parr says that not only is the helicopter hunt cruel, the reasoning behind it has no basis in science.

“Whole packs will be chased by helicopters until they are exhausted, and then shot under the guise of recovering dwindling caribou herds in the South Selkirk and South Peace areas,” Parr said. “Caribou are in this situation because of us, not because of wolves. The province has allowed energy and recreation industries to destroy critical caribou habitat, facilitating predation by wolves which would otherwise be less able to access remote caribou herds.

“This choice is scientifically unsound. This is not the first time aerial gunning and sterilization of wolves has occurred in BC. All past efforts have failed to increase caribou numbers. Similar efforts to protect caribou in Alberta resulted in almost 1000 wolves being killed, and research shows that it is not enough to render caribou populations viable in the long-term. Wolf populations rebound quickly and dispersing wolves fill in the vacant space created following wolf removal – the killing must continue on taxpayer dollars for many decades until habitat recovers naturally. Furthermore, most caribou herds live in multi-predator environments that also support bears, mountain lions, wolverines and lynx.  Focussing on removing a single type of predator will not be effective.

“This is a question of animal welfare. In recent decades we have learned more about the true nature of wolves as emotional and intelligent beings, and their unique and beneficial impacts on biodiversity. Are we as a society prepared to spend the next thirty or more years  gunning down families of wolves? This practice is not an approved method under Canada’s current guidelines on Approved Animal Care.

“This is an expensive, short-sighted approach to caribou recovery.  Hiring sharp-shooters and flying  them around remote BC in helicopters in order to destroy entire wolf packs will take hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. It is morally indefensible that taxpayers are paying for the government’s neglect of wildlife. Do BC residents want their money spent on helicopters, or ecological restoration, education, health care, etc.?”

The governments Wolf Management Plan, implemented in April of 2014, allows for measures such as targeted aerial wolf removal in support of caribou protection for circumstances exactly like those occurring in the South Peace and South Selkirk herds, says background information from the Ministry of Environment. While the plan at the time said there were no plans for an aerial cull, it does not rule it out.

“The risk of removing the number of wolves recommended is very low, whereas the risk to pertinent caribou populations of doing nothing is very high.”

The most recent estimates put the number of caribou in the south Selkirk region at 18 in March of 2014.

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Most Read