Group campaigns for changes to Alberta wolf policy
By: Brodie Thomas Metro, Published on Thu Jan 14 2016
The image of the big bad wolf is nothing more than a fairy tale according to a group of concerned citizens who are trying to change government policy on wolves.
Tamara Barnes, the organizer behind wolfmatters.org, said she and other volunteers believe the province’s attempt to manage wolf populations is too heavy-handed, and say it’s time to update the provincial management plan on the animals.
“There’s no word of conservation in (the management plan) at all. Our aim is to get that changed as well as get a few things banned,” said Barnes.
She said members of the group include former government employees and biologists that specialize in wolves.
Her group wants to see the use of strychnine to cull wolves outlawed.
In the case of the Little Smoky caribou herd, Barnes believes wolves are being used as a scapegoat to account for population declines in the herd when logging and oil industry operations are to blame.
Matt Besko, head of wildlife management policy for Alberta Environment and Parks, said industrial changes to the landscape do make it easier for wolves to hunt caribou, such as the Little Smoky herd.
He said there are long term plans to better manage industrial footprints on the landscapes, but in the short term he said action needs to be taken against predators or we will risk losing the caribou altogether.
Besko said wolf populations are healthy and they know this, in part, because they’re expanding their territory.
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