Once again a government is using false information to eliminate wolves from the face of the earth. Over the past five years, the Alberta, Canada government has spent more than $1 million to kill (with strychnine poisoning or by shooting from the air) more than 500 wolves in the Little Smoky Region of northwest Alberta in a misguided attempt to save the woodland caribou. This action was brought on by Environment Minister Peter Kent whose proposal of a massive cull of wolves in northern Alberta was in response to the decline of perilous herds of woodland caribou in the oil sands area.

However the decline of the woodland caribou is largely the result of the destruction of their natural habitat due to the expansion of the oil sands and other industrial development in that area. But the distraction of the public's attention by a well publicized culling of the wolf population there would serve well to hide the real causes of the caribou decline and cause a major impact of the area’s ecosystem in a negative way. It is actually the interaction with humans and exposure to large-scale industry, rather than wolf predation, that is the main factor causing elevated stress levels and poor nutrition in caribou.

Another issue that could become a big problem with the culling of the wolves is that the deer population could rapidly increase and cause other problems such as starvation issues with the deer and other ecological problems. Although wolves eat a combination of moose, caribou and deer it is actually deer that is the preference of the wolves. With fewer wolves in the area the deer population could grow quickly out of hand.

The Humane Society International/Canada has charged that the Canadian government has failed to provide the declining caribou with adequate protection by listing their habitat as critical. Instead of continuing to kill off the wolves, they are asking that the Environment Ministry develop a comprehensive proposal to sustain caribou populations in northern Alberta. This would include appropriate investment by oil companies and government in non-lethal methods to eliminate the negative impacts of industrial development on the caribou. Until these actions are implemented, the wolves will continue to be the scapegoat of government and big business.

Photo credit Christopher Brian

Responses to "Canadian wolf cull done under false pretenses"

  1. Teresa says:

    What the he'll are wrong with these so called people leave the wolves alone they were here before us

  2. Anonymous says:

    always lining their own pockets and never worry about the people that voted them in!NEW GOVERNMENT AND NEW LAWS.. listen to the people who care about Environment which inclueds leaving our wilflife alone. come polling day every one vote for greenpeace or the likes of who might actully listen to our voices

  3. It come downs to this: Man fears what he does not understand and he tries to change the way nature intends every way he can. Wait til the environment begins to suffer from the over population of caribou. Perhaps some "selective culling" should be done to the government.

  4. Anonymous says:

    karma will catch up with those in power, they will find out nature was here first and doing ok mankind came along this is where we are now...:(

  5. Anonymous says:

    It should be against the Law to kill a wolf. They have more right to this land then a man with a gun, trying to prove his man hood. It is really sad.

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