Cree councillor, wildlife biologist object to Alberta wolf and coyote culls 

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Benjamin Badger believes the “four-legged nation”, which includes the wolf and coyote family “clans”, have shared the land with Indigenous People for time immemorial and should not be hunted and killed.

A councillor from Kehewin Cree Nation in northern Alberta says he objects to a coyote and wolf reduction incentive program advertised by the local county, as an attack on the “four legged nation.”

There are 16 municipalities with predator bounty programs in Alberta. St. Paul county introduced its program six years ago in order to reduce the population of coyotes and wolves over the calving season.

The bounty offers a payout of $15 per coyote and $75 per wolf to a maximum number of 20 coyotes/wolves per week, and a total season maximum of 100 coyotes/wolves per resident/landowner.

Kehewin Cree Nation councillor Benjamin Badger said the “four-legged nation,” which includes the wolf and coyote family clans, have shared the land with Indigenous people forever and should not be hunted and killed.

“The farming and agriculture has just devastated the land that they use to sustain themselves,” said Badger.

“Metaphorically, you take what’s happening to the wolves and apply it to what Indian people had to face … there’s so much correlation.”

‘It’s not right’

He referenced the Canadian government’s policy to “get rid of the the Indian problem” in the late 1800s and early 1900s, which was unsuccessful, but still produced harmful results such as intergenerational trauma stemming from Indian residential schools.

“The wolves are starting to reclaim the land that was already theirs,” said Badger.

“The wolves are encroaching on municipal jurisdictions but those are fictional borders, you can’t see them. The animals don’t see that.”

Saddle Lake Cree Nation elder and hunter Joe Cardinal said he’s noticed the St. Paul area filling with more predatory animals in recent years.

He said he doesn’t agree with the large culling of wolves and coyotes, but added that county wildlife officials should make sure the reduction program is carried out in the least harmful way.

“I respect all animals,” said Cardinal.

“I don’t take nothing [from the land] unless it has to be taken for food purposes. I wouldn’t shoot a coyote unless it was attacking. It’s not right.”

Non-targeted species affected

Wildlife biologist Gilbert Proulx has studied predation bounty programs in the Prairies since they were reintroduced in Alberta and Saskatchewan in 2007 and 2009 after 40 years.

He said the reduction tactics are inhumane and ineffective.

“The scientific community, environmental organizations and public must vigorously condemn the use of such programs,” said Proulx.

According to Proulx, killing methods used by bounty hunters include shooting animals in non-vital regions of their bodies, neck snares and strychnine poisoning, which causes suffering and delayed deaths. It also causes unnecessary deaths to many non-targeted species.

“There is no proof to demonstrate that wolves or coyotes prey on livestock,” he said.

“I find it frustrating that a small interest group can dictate the future of our wildlife communities.”

‘A political decision’

He said he’s spoken with ranchers from the area who have told him they don’t have a problem with coyotes or wolves.

He called the bounty “a political decision” aimed at appeasing farmers and ranchers who have lost livestock, but said they already receive compensation from the government for their losses.

Killing off predators won’t solve concerns ranchers may have regarding predators stalking their livestock, he said.

“Wolves are dominant animals,” he said.

“If you kill a dominant animal and destroy the social structure, the ones that survive, suddenly they’re the new bosses. They split and each make their own pack, and then there’s coyotes and wolves from other regions that come in.”

Proulx co-authored a study that reported that from 2010 to 2015, 25,940 coyotes and 1,425 wolves were killed in Alberta through bounty programs.

County rules

Keith Kornelsen, agricultural fieldman for St. Paul county, said the county has averaged a yearly payout of $18,000 in its bounty program. It budgets $25,000 per year for the program.

Kornelsen said the county enforces strict rules on trappers to ensure the killing methods are humane. He said the county has heard some concerns from residents about the reduction program, and is open to hearing them.

The bounty program in St. Paul runs from Nov. 1 to March 31.

Source: Cree councillor, wildlife biologist object to Alberta wolf and coyote culls – CBC News | Indigenous

Ontario Bans Coyote Trapping & Hunting in 40 Municipalities

 

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THE USA should be ashamed of themselves if they fail to follow Ontarios Example!

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has announced a hunting and trapping ban on wolves and coyotes across 40 townships, effective immediately.

Said to be a step towards protecting Ontario wolves, specifically the recently re-named Algonquin wolf, hunters and trappers will be banned from hunting or trapping wolves and coyotes in three additional districts:

The area of Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park, which includes the geographic townships of: Anstruther, Burleigh, Cardiff, Cavendish, Chandos, Harvey, and Monmouth;
The area of Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park, which includes the geographic townships of: Anson, Dalton, Digby, Longford, Lutterworth, Minden, and Ryde;
The area of Killarney Provincial Park, which includes the geographic townships of: Allen, Attlee, Bevin, Burwash, Caen, Carlyle, Cox, Curtin, Dieppe, Eden, Foster, Goschen, Halifax, Hansen, Humboldt, Killarney, Kilpatrick, Laura, Roosevelt, Sale, Secord, Servos, Struthers, Tilton, Truman, and Waldie.

Click here for a map of the expanded wolf and coyote hunting and trapping ban.
Farmers and ranchers, especially those with sheep and cattle, have expressed disapproval of coyotes being included in the ban, and would prefer education and training of hunters and trappers to distinguish between the species. Predation of livestock by wolves does occur, however, coyote kills are exponentially higher.A spokesperson for the provincial government stated that because wolves and coyotes are difficult to distinguish from each other, the restriction on hunting and trapping must apply to both species. The ruling was made following a 31-day comment period held over this summer. Over 4,000 comments were received, most of them against the restrictions as laid out by the provincial government — many because of the increased threat to livestock and other prey of the wolf and coyote. (You can read some of the comments by clicking here.)

Read more on the regulation change here
Farmers and landowners within the designated areas may still “kill, harm, or harass an Algonquin (Eastern) Wolf or coyote in incidents of risks to health and safety, including the protection of domestic and livestock animals,” according to the province.For the year ending March, 2016, farmers and ranchers claimed nearly $1.7 million in death and injuries due to predators. Of those deaths, the majority of sheep kills were attributed to coyote deaths. For the Kawartha region alone, coyote attacks were responsible for 53 cattle deaths.

Source: Ontario Bans Coyote Trapping & Hunting in 40 Municipalities – Real Agriculture

Chased by wolf pack while out on dogsled, 

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Guido Rich was chased into town by a pack of wolves while he was out on dogsled this week. He returned with a gun to hunt the animals down. (Submitted by Sherri Wolfrey)

Truth be known, he probably just saw them… He claims he outran them… yeah right…

A Labrador man turned from prey to predator this week, when he tracked down and killed a group of wolves that chased him on his dogsled.

Guido Rich hunted the four animals — two on Wednesday night, and two more on Thursday morning — after they chased him back into Rigolet.

Rich says he was about 10 kilometres away from town with his dogsled Wednesday night, when he realized what he originally thought was nearby snowmobiles was actually a pack of wolves — and they were headed in his direction.

“I was there bawling at my dogs and trying to get them running fast to get back to town,” he told CBC Radio’s Labrador Morning.

He outran the wolfpack into Rigolet, and went and picked up his friend and their gun. Rich and his friend returned to the trail, and found the pack close to the community.

That’s when Rich started firing, killing two of the animals and pushing the others into the woods.

The next morning, Rich went out to the trail again to look for the surviving animals, who came too close to his home for comfort.

“I said it’s just as well try to get them instead of running into an encounter with them again,” he explained. “Either drive them away or get them, I figured.”

On Thursday morning, Rich found two more of the animals and killed them.

Lessons learned

The experience gave him a bit of a fright, Rich said. Being alone with his dog sled, and without a gun, he said he worried for what was going to happen to his dogs.

“I don’t think my dogs would have had a chance against four or five wolves,” he said. “I was more afraid for the dogs than myself.”

Rich said he never had a wolf encounter like this before, but now promises he won’t leave town without his gun again.

“I guess it was pretty close to fighting for my life,” he said. “I should have had my gun then, but I wasn’t thinking about wolves.”

Source: Chased by wolf pack while out on dogsled, Labrador man returns to hunt – Newfoundland & Labrador – CBC News

End wolf bounties and poisonings in Alberta, petition urges

Protect Alberta Wolves

An Alberta-based wildlife protection group is calling on the province to make changes to its wolf culling program that it says will make it more humane.

Over the past three years, Wolf Matters has been instrumental in collecting around 10,000 signatures on a petition that was presented to the Alberta Legislature in December.

The wolf cull is part of the provincial government’s strategy to protect the endangered caribou population. Wolves are seen as the main predator of caribou.

The petition urges the government to making a number of changes to its wolf management plan, including to:

  • Abolish the use of poisons.
  • Change standards for snares to make them more humane.
  • End wolf-kill bounties.
  • Shorten the six-month trapping season and 10-month hunting season.
  • Introduce legislation to protect wolves on public lands.

Currently wolves can be killed through many methods, including poisons, lethal snares and leghold traps, and by being shot from the air.

Wolf Matters member Kristen Rose says it seems Alberta’s NDP government is maintaining the status quo on the wolf hunt to appease the federal government by doing something to help the caribou.

“They’ve created basically a caribou farm and continued the culling of wolves,” Rose told the Calgary Eyeopener Thursday.

“The importance of it is that predators are incredibly important to the ecosystem and when we do things against other species on the planet, when we demean and exploit other species, we continue to do no less to ourselves.”

Rose said the government has provided its own studies proving Alberta hasn’t seen a real increase in the caribou population in areas where the wolf cull is encouraged.

“It’s not working. Consistently over the past eight years these methods have been used and they are not working,” said Rose.

“We’re still seeing the caribou dying off because of loss of habitat, which is [caused by] human behaviour.”

Rose says the government has indicated it will be rewriting its wolf management plan by end of the year.

It has not been addressed since 1991

Source: End wolf bounties and poisonings in Alberta, petition urges – Calgary – CBC News

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