Bow Valley wolf pack down to 2 after male killed by hunters in B.C.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/bow-valley-wolf-pack-male-killed-1.4071142

Wildlife specialist says he expects pack’s population near Banff will stabilize despite low numbers

CBC News Posted: Apr 14, 2017 10:40 AM MT Last Updated: Apr 14, 2017 10:40 AM MT

The Bow Valley wolf pack near the Banff townsite is down to two members after a two-year-old male was shot and killed by hunters in B.C. after leaving the park.

The Bow Valley wolf pack near the Banff townsite is down to two members after a two-year-old male was shot and killed by hunters in B.C. after leaving the park. (Parks Canada)

A wildlife specialist in Banff National Park has hopes the Bow Valley wolf pack will recover after one of its three members was shot and killed by a hunter in B.C. last month.

The two-year-old wolf, known as 1502, was equipped with a tracking collar when it left the park and headed west.

“It’s typical for a wolf around that age to go on a dispersal like that as they find a new territory for themselves and join another pack or form another pack on their own,” said Steve Michel, a Parks Canada human-wildlife conflict specialist.

Wolf 1502 travelled more than 500 linear kilometres until he reached the West Kootenay area where he was killed near Trout Lake, B.C., at the end of March.

There are now two wolves remaining in the Bow Valley pack — an alpha male and a two-year-old female, which would be the sibling to wolf 1502.

Last year, Parks Canada staff estimated the pack had at least nine wolves in the spring. A few months later, staff at the park were forced to put down an alpha female after it exhibited concerning behaviour.

Shortly after, four wolf pups were killed by trains in two separate incidents. Later in the summer, park staff shot a second wolf that had been acting boldly around people at campgrounds.

Wolf populations fluctuate

Michel said despite last year’s devastation of the pack, population numbers are constantly fluctuating and he expects the pack’s population will stabilize in some way in the future.

“Wolf populations are very dynamic,” he said. “The size of the pack is constantly changing, just as we talk about this wolf dispersing, there’s other wolves from other packs in other areas that are dispersing that might come and join in to the Bow Valley pack as well.”

Overall, Michel said, the wolf population in Banff National Park is healthy, but being so close to a busy developed area like the Banff townsite, the Bow Valley wolf pack is constantly under pressure.

“We’ve seen before, in this portion of the park and the Bow Valley, we’ve seen packs completely die out and then a short time later, new packs form and take over similar territorial boundaries. We’ve seen packs merge together, packs overtake other ones.”

“Wolf populations are very dynamic and they’re always in a state of flux.”

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.

http://www.raincoast.org/2015/01/alberta-wolf-slaughter/

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

WARNING:  THIS A DISTURBING ACCOUNT OF ANIMAL SUFFERING AND SLAUGHTER

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
TOTAL 676
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

Tell the Calgary Herald NO grizzly bear hunting

According to the Calgary Herald, a “debate” is surfacing (concocted and spurred on by the Herald itself) over whether to resume a hunt on grizzly bears in southwestern Alberta.

The grizzly recovery plan was put in place after studies found there were  fewer than 700 grizzlies left in Alberta, leading the government to declare the  species threatened.

Please vote NO in their poll and share your thoughts with the editorial board Here.

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson