Another tremendous turn out for our presentation on wolves and coyotes. Sixty people learning to co-exist and helping dispel myths about wild canids. Thank you so much for coming everyone and thanks so much to our presenter Teena Thomas for her passion and dedication to the wild ones! If you'd like us to present in your community or school, send us a message! More information can be found HERE.
Carleen Ross Professional Artwork
Wolf Matters is pleased to announce that artist Carleen Ross has offered to donate part of her profits from her amazing artwork to various organizations including Wolf Matters. Please check out her store (linked below) and help support some very important causes!
"Art with a Cause: Prints professionally created on Fine art paper.
Donations are made to certain organizations to help with conservation and education."
Store Link: Carleen Ross
Many of you have asked for assistance in what to say to your MLA and others. We have addressed key points for you in the notes. We encourage you to speak with your MLA, call Minister's office, the Premier, follow up with emails, ask for replies. And follow up again. They will try to redirect you and make excuses for their actions but what is happening now, is not working or they would not have to keep culling wolves. Insist on changes. Ask your MLA to truly represent what Albertans are asking for with respect to wildlife and land. Email TV, radio and Editors with your thoughts and concerns. Talk to friends and family and ask them to also get involved. Author Kevin Van Tighem wrote in an article about wolves being classified as a species subject to special management to include
protecting them until a problem develops and then targeting specific problem animals rather than all wolves indiscriminately. We think that is a wonderful statement and one that the majority of Albertans could comfortably get behind and support. A comprehensive plan that is supported by current, peer reviewed science, instead of just implementing the same old plan of simply killing off what doesn't fit neatly into our lives. It is about addressing human behaviours, which are ultimately the core issue. Thanks so much to all of you for your help and support.
There are two issues with respect to wolves in Alberta.
1) Caribou recovery. The GoA is basically killing wolves and creating a caribou farm when the issue is habitat. If there is no where for them to live and safely reproduce, no food to eat then the caribou will not survive. If industry continues to disrupt this sensitive species and provide direct access via cutlines and logging roads for predators and for other ungulates in to caribou habitat these animals will not survive. Countless scientists have weighed in on this against the cull and fenced in area for the caribou as being futile as the habitat issues have not been adequately addressed. Over many years wolves have been shot from the air and poisoned with little to no impact on caribou recovery. The science does not support what the GoA is putting in place to “recover” the caribou. The GoA’s plan does not even adequately address public access to this sensitive area let alone industry.
2) Wolves can be hunted 10 months of the year, all you need is a tag and you can kill as many wolves as you can find during the large game season. Ranchers can kill a wolf for just being near their land, let alone having actually done anything to warrant being killed at any time throughout the year and the rancher does not have to have done anything to be proactively deterring predation, such as electric fencing, proper husbandry or supervision. Even on public land where cattle graze, wolves can be killed just for being there.
3) Wolves can be snared or trapped 6 months of the year. The GoA will tell you that traps and snares are considered perfectly humane according to the Fur Institute. That is a bit like taking advice from a fox on about hen house security. Proulx and Rodtka have studies that show how horrific and inhumane snares really are but all you really need to do is see a photo of a nearly decapitated animal to know that the death was not the “humane and swift” death that trappers will have you believe. In addition traps/snares are not species specific, many animals including dogs and cats are caught in traps.
4) Poison is used by ranchers on occasion through Fish and Wildlife and in caribou habitat. Poison is used no where else in North America as a wildlife management tool, it is considered too inhumane, not species specific (that is it kills anything that consumes and can get into the food chain through water, ground and other animals). Death by poison is enormously painful and causes tremendous suffering.
5) Although the GoA admits that bounties are not a useful tool in “managing” predators, that in fact they can actually increase predation issues and they do not pay bounties, they do allow them to go ahead with municipalities and outfitters paying the bounty. The outfitters use this method to reduce predators in order to increase the number of ungulates that they can kill in their guiding business. So special interest groups reaping the benefits. For the municipalities the bounties can be included in killing contests for fun. Culls and bounties are ineffective because:
When a pack is fractured, an alpha animal for example, younger animals who rely heavily on adults to teach them to hunt and survive will not have the benefit of this guidance and may resort to livestock as a way to survive.
Rebound reproduction - several pairs may reproduce in a pack, not just the alpha, when they are heavily hunted. In order to sustain the larger number of offspring, they may resort to livestock predation.
When a entire pack is removed, another one will likely move in or at least other predators and these new residents in an area may not have the skills of the previous ones to hunt their natural prey and may resort to livestock predation.
While it is not always possible to completely remove lethal methods, it is clear that overall they are not reliable and if they were then they would not need to be repeatedly used. Ranchers should have the assistance in use of non lethal methods such as electric fencing, range riders, livestock guarding animals, rotational fencing/grazing and many other methods as opposed to simply providing payment for the livestock after the predation with no accountability on the rancher to mitigate future losses ie. husbandry and fencing etc.
Culls, bounties, snares and use of poisons should be prohibited. Hunting season of wolves at least reduced considerably if not completely. In caribou areas, focus on habitat reconstrucirton, major reduction in disturbance, closing off of access points.
Ever since our press release earlier this week, Wolf Matters has been asked to do interviews for various news outlets in the province. The petition asks for the abolishment of bounties, use of poisons, reduction in hunting and trapping seasons for wolves and protection on Crown lands. Many groups, businesses and people have worked very hard to bring this petition to the Legislature and have it tabled by MLA Cam Westhead and now your help is needed.If you are an Alberta resident you can help to make positive changes in Alberta by contacting your MLA and asking for their support of the changes requested in the petition and by having peer reviewed science as the foundation for the Wolf Management Plan in that province.
Check it out!
(To listen to the TalkRadio 770 interview click on the link and then choose Jan 3, 4:00pm time slot in the drop down box. The interview is at approximately 17:00 mins.)
Thank you to MLA Cam Westhead for tabling the wolf petition in the Alberta legislature today that so many of you wolf supporters have signed and shared and took upon yourselves to help gather as well. Thank you all for signing and advocating for better wolf treatment in the province of Alberta and to LUSH Cosmetics for your support and help. We hope this will bring about much needed changes. In the meantime, please continue to write your MLAs and the environment minister and ask for support of this petition.
Commentary by Gilbert Proulx on the indescriminate use of snares, poisons in Alberta.
Recently we had a wolf supporter write to us and ask if the article she had written was valid in the fight for Alberta wolves. Anytime you write anything that addresses important issues, especially when it comes from the heart, is always going to be valid to the cause. It may inspire others to do the same and it is a way to individually showcase your concern for a cause you care about. We recommended that she share with her MLA and with news outlets. Lets keep people talking and thinking about wolves. That makes it hard for the government to ignore. With permission, here is her article. Thank you Emma J.S!!
Thank you to Bearspaw Lifestyle Centre in Calgary for inviting our Wolf Matters team to talk to members about wolves and coyotes for their Lunch and Learn event! We love teaching about wild canids so contact us if you're interested in a presentation!
If WildEarth Guardians can do it, why can't we? Trust me, we have asked the same questions. This is what we have found out.
We love people that are passionate about wolves and wildlife in general and it's always special when they share part of that passion with us in terms of a photo, artwork, or a poem! Recently, one wolf supporter, a veterinarian named Debi Zimmermann, sent us her poem and asked us to share! Enjoy! And feel free to submit your art work, or stories, poems etc....or your photos with our Awareness Wolves!!
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