Alberta Wolf Kill and “Collateral Damage”‏

Besides the 1000 wolves at least 163 cougars have been killed, along with 38 wolverine, etc. It also demonstrates what happpens when you allow habitat degradation to occur.

Alberta slaughters more than 1,000 wolves and hundreds of other animals


Killing wolves for

Published on 2015 · 01 · 10 by Raincoast
Raincoast scientists Dr. Paul Paquet and Dr. Chris Darimont, along with colleagues at the University of Saskatchewan, have published the paper “Maintaining Ethical Standards during Conservation Crises” in the journal Canadian Wildlife Biology and Management.  It  addresses the ethics and science of the  Alberta wolf cull as published in Canadian Journal of Zoology, November 2014.
Download this paper: Brook et al 2015 CWBM
Download the press release
The wolf kill
For the last few years, Raincoast has been sounding the alarm about the slaughter of wolves at the hands of the Alberta government.  This slaughter is a consequence of Alberta oil and gas development, and other industrial activities, that have endangered caribou.  The Alberta government and its resource industries have transformed the caribou’s boreal habitat into a landscape that can no longer provide the food, cover and security that these animals need to survive.  Rather than address this problem, Alberta has chosen to scapegoat wolves that are using a huge network of new roads and corridors to reach dwindling numbers of caribou.
For a decade now, the Alberta government has hired hitmen and biologists to kill wolves, more than 1,000 of them, through aerial gunning from helicopters, poisoning with strychnine, and allowing them to be strangled with neck snares.  They also trap and collar wolves that become “Judas wolves,” leading the gunners to the pack.  After shooting all but the collared wolf, the collared wolf then leads the gunners to more wolves and then watches as they too are slaughtered.
Not just wolves
In addition to aerial gunning, strychnine is set out to poison wolves.  Many other species that incidentally eat the poison also die. We do not have a death toll for the additional animals that died from poisoning. Neck snares, another form of torture and suffering, are also permitted.  Internal Alberta government documents show that up until 2012, neck snares were the primary cause of death for 676 animals, in addition to the wolves, around the Little Smokey region in Alberta. Note caribou, the reason for the wolf cull in the first place, are dying as incidental deaths in neck snares.
Number of animals/species that have died incidentally in Alberta’s wolf kill (up to 2012) near the Little Smokey region, primarily in neck snares.  Numbers obtained from internal Alberta government documents.
Black bear 12
Caribou 2
Cougar 163
Deer 62
Eagle (bald and golden) 40
Fisher 173
Fox 3
Grizzly bear 3
Goshawk 1
Lynx 70
Moose 12
Otter 73
Owls 12
Small mammals (marten, mink, skunk, squirrel, weasel) 12
Wolverine 38
Calling it science
In 2014, 5 authors (3 from Alberta government, 1 from University of Montana, 1 from University of Alberta) published a paper in the Canadian Journal of Zoology (CJZ) called Managing wolves to recover threatened caribou in Alberta.  This paper describes, condones, and implements the use of aerial gunning and strychnine poisoning as acceptable methods to undertake their study on caribou survival. Neck snares are not included in the journal study methods, despite their known use for killing wolves in the Little Smokey Region.
A response to this paper was published in the journal of Canadian Wildlife Biology and Management in February 2015  by Raincoast scientists and colleagues called “Maintaining Ethical Standards during Conservation Crises“.
The above response addresses the issue of ethics and animal welfare in science. Research on animals in Canadian universities and papers published in the CJZ must meet ethical standards from an animal care committee (nationally, the Canadian Council on Animal Care). Poisoning and aerial gunning (using Judas wolves)  do not meet these criteria.  Below is the call for proposal from the beginning of the study with the statement that the lethal methods being employed were approved according to protocols 008 and 009.  Also below are protocols 008 and 009 that show such activities are not permitted.  The objective of these protocols (specifically 9) is to enforce the humane treatment of animals and ensure minimal stress. In the event that a wolf is injured during a study it describes how euthanasia must occur.  A gun shot is explicit to extreme cases in close range where a single shot to the head causes instant death.  To imply such permits allow a wildlife slaughter is dishonest, at best.
Huffington Post Articles
Additional files for download

1 thought on “Alberta Wolf Kill and “Collateral Damage”‏

  1. Do you know what happens when animals don’t get managed? Yes. I see it every day in cities and rural areas alike. The human population has exploded, there are over 7 billion members and this trend is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down any time soon. Our consumption of natural resources is staggering to say the least. If any species of the wider animal kingdom remotely shows signs of this pattern, people call for a cull to diminish the impact. So why not manage the most damaging species on the planet? Have a worldwide human hunt, drag people by the hair from their homes and beat them to death or gun them down as they run for their lives from aircraft?
    Oh that’s right: it’s cruel, it violates human rights and won’t solve any problems. Just as hunting and trapping is cruel, they violate animal rights and they don’t solve any of the problems they claim to solve.

    We cringe when we hear about some kid going into a school and shooting his classmates and teachers, we cry when a dictator’s militia ploughs through refugee camps with machetes and assault rifles, gleefully slaughtering every starved helpless person (including women and children) not of their ‘tribe’ or who did not vote for their affiliated political party. Why should we care when there are a few billion people left in the world? Such slaughter barely harms our species population, right? I’m not arguing that these actions are any less a tragedy. But in this society, not many bat less than an eyelid when it comes to some jerk off sport hunter sitting among his/her kills, gloating and grinning like some gold medal winning Olympic athlete.

    It is always an ‘agree to disagree’, that everyone has their right to their opinion and that its very, very bad to question someone because they use the b.s. line of tradition or heritage or spurts some sob story about how they do it to survive. Anyone who spouts this and who has one or more of the following: a gun, a camera, an internet connection, a few kilos of equipment, some brand name clothes or access to an operational motor vehicle – is a damn liar.

    But I digress. It is insulting to the intelligence of our race that the people who whine that all animals should be managed, when the human race itself is overpopulated and those that insist predators, like wolves, kill for entertainment expect us to swallow that tripe when it comes from the mouths of those that do it themselves.

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