WildLands Advocate Update: Wolves
April 1, 2016
April 2016 WildLands Advocate update by Andrea Johancsik
Alberta’s management of wolves has been a contentious issue for many years. In 2013, AWA published a news release revealing from FOIPed documents that some bounty programs in the province came from the US-based Wild Sheep Foundation. Bounties by some municipalities and private organizations provide incentives for wolf kills up to $500.
The International Union for the Conservationof Nature (IUCN) wrote a letter to the Alberta government to urge a change in management to correspond with global best practices. At the time, the government responded by saying the issue should be taken up with municipalities, not the province.
Because wolves are not provincially managed, there is no provincial oversight into how many wolves are killed. There is also no knowing how the wolves are killed. Too often we believe wolves are taken through snaring, which can be inhumane and have unintended by-catch. The FOIPed documents also revealed that Alberta government staff was aware untargeted wolf bounties were not effective at reducing livestock predation, an issue discussed in the WLA article by Carolyn Campbell in the summer of 2015.
A wolf management plan regulated by the ministry of Alberta Environment and Parks, using the best available scientific principles, and carried out with an open and transparent public consultation, would be a great addition to wildlife planning in the province. We’re sure the wolves would thank us, too.
– Andrea Johancsik
For a pdf of the article, click here