Target: British Columbia Premier Christy Clark
Goal: Find alternatives to expanding the hunting of wolves in order to manage wolf populations.
The government of British Columbia, Canada has announced a plan to allow expanded hunting of grey wolves, as well as culling in some areas. According to the government, wolf numbers are stable, and cattle and caribou are being killed by wolves at increasing rates. British Columbia’s wolf population has increased from 8,100 to 8,500 over the past 20 years.
While the threat to livestock and the endangered caribou is an issue that must be dealt with, it does not seem that 400 more wolves are cause to allow culling and hunting with no bag limits when 1,300 wolves are already killed by hunting every year in British Columbia. Loosening restrictions is not a management plan, but a road to endangerment that the wolf population knows all too well. A management plan that benefits the entire ecosystem must be implemented; otherwise, the wolf population will face endangerment.
The issue of whether or not to continue wolf hunting involves many stakeholders. Those in favor include the British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association and First Nations groups living in caribou regions. Animal rights groups are of course outraged by the plan. Ian McAllister of the Pacific Wild group has stated, “The B.C. government is wanting to even relax and liberalize the kill regulations even further. It’s alarming. We see it as a wolf kill program, not a wolf management program.” What is even more alarming is the backing of the plan by gun clubs and businesses. Hunters can compete for cash prizes, rifles, and taxidermy work by bagging the biggest wolf. Unsurprisingly, the contest uses an image of a vicious wolf as advertisement.
By painting the wolf as the villain, we take a path that leads to endangerment. Cattle are being targeted by wolves because humans have expanded development into wolf territory. The relationship between wolf and prey has been further complicated by human interference. Allowing unlimited killing is not the answer to the problem. Please sign this petition and urge the government of British Columbia to find alternative strategies for managing wolf populations.
Dear Premier Christy Clark,
The recent release of a potential management plan that would allow the continuation of wolf hunting with few restrictions is not the answer to managing wolf populations. Wolves are no stranger to endangerment, and although their numbers may be stable now, continued or increased hunting will threaten that. Another reason provided for the plan is the threat to livestock and caribou posed by the wolf, but wolf numbers have not increased significantly enough over the last 20 years to justify an expansion of hunting.
What is really threatening the livestock, caribou, and wolves are humans. Human infringement into wolf territory has made livestock an easy target. Loosening restrictions is not a management plan, but a road to endangerment that the wolf population knows all too well. A management plan that benefits the entire ecosystem must be implemented; otherwise, the wolf population will face endangerment.
Furthermore, the plan has spurred gun clubs and businesses to further demonize the wolf by holding contests for the largest wolf bagged. Painting the wolf as a vicious killer does nothing to educate or inform people about its role in the ecosystem. The threat to livestock and endangered caribou is an issue that needs to be dealt with. However, allowing the barbaric killing of wolves is not the answer.
Please work with all stakeholders involved, including scientists and conservationists, to devise a management plan that does not include the expanded hunting of the grey wolf.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: itstrulyrandom.com