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Science, uncertainty, and ethics in the Alberta wolf cull (Population ecology 101)

April 1, 2015

Wild Lands Advocate article, April 2015, by Adam Ford

Wolves and caribou exist in a complex food web alongside other predators, herbivores and plants. The landscape supporting this food web is changing from both natural and human-causes, and there is a pervasive decline in woodland caribou occurring across Canada. Identifying the cause of this decline will require rigorous testing and exploration of hypotheses that may explain what factors contribute towards the trend in the caribou population. Critical to this exploration is weighing risks and benefits of management actions. After six years, it is not clear that wolf culling achieved its desired management goal.

No public hearings are scheduled. Only one Alberta organization, the Alberta Wilderness Association, is independent enough that it continues championing public land and the people's right of access to it. So people must speak individually, as they have so many times before, directly to the premier, the minister of Sustainable Resource Development and their MLA, and remind them of what public land means to all of us, that none of it is surplus to our needs, that we do not want it sold.
- Bob Scammell, 2003
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