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Alberta cull on wolves

Love4himies
March 7th, 2008, 02:00 PM
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080307.wwolves07/BNStory/National/home

First the wild horses, now the wolves.:cry::yell:

Alberta's wolf cull defence: 'No one has a problem swatting a mosquito'
DAWN WALTON

From Friday's Globe and Mail

March 7, 2008 at 3:49 AM EDT

CALGARY — As elk, deer and moose living along the eastern slopes of the Rockies in central Alberta struggle to survive, wildlife officials are willing to try almost anything to prop up the dwindling herds.

Just yesterday, 85 elk were carefully loaded onto trucks and moved from Elk Island National Park, east of Edmonton, into their new digs around Rocky Mountain House.

But instead of crowing about the initiative, officials found themselves fending off criticism about another conservation experiment: the shooting of adult and baby wolves to reduce the surging numbers preying on the ungulates and, consequently, cutting down the number of hoofed critters available for people to hunt.

"While a wolf is a beautiful animal to look at, it can cause a lot of damage," said Darcy Whiteside of Alberta Sustainable Resource Development.


A new experiment will see adult and baby wolves shot to reduce the surging numbers preying on elk and deer. (AFP/Getty Images)

Though acknowledging how unpalatable it sounds to suggest killing such an iconic creature, Mr. Whiteside said: "No one has a problem swatting a mosquito."

Nigel Douglas, a conservation specialist with the Alberta Wilderness Association, called the experiment - which also involves sterilizing adult wolves - "ludicrous" and "abhorrent." The only ecosystem management technique required, he said, is for Alberta to do more to protect wildlife habitat from the onslaught of development.

"Wolves bring out the best and the worst in people. Wolves have always been the scapegoats," Mr. Douglas said.

Increasing the number of ungulates available for hunters to kill is a minor goal of the wolf cull and birth-control program, officials said. The initiative, to be conducted by researchers at the University of Alberta and backed by the provincial government, is just one of several culls that have come under fire in the province.

Some residents are upset by the deer slaughter now taking place along Alberta's southeastern boundary - a bid to stop chronic wasting disease detected in the area from spreading west. In the previous three years, 3,171 deer, whether they were healthy or not, were shot by wildlife officials under the program.

The Alberta government was also attacked in 2006 when it starting killing wolves near Hinton, not far from Jasper National Park, in order to help protect the threatened woodland caribou population, which had tumbled by as much as two-thirds. Wolves are the primary suspects, according to officials, and so far 170 of them have been killed, but it's too soon to tell if the caribou herd has rebounded.

In the U.S. last month, wolves lost their endangered status in the Rocky Mountain states. They are thriving after a repopulation program involving wolves sent from Canada successfully reversed what was the near eradication by hunters and ranchers.Alberta's Sustainable Resource Development Minister Ted Morton stressed to reporters in Edmonton that the research is still "an experiment" by wildlife biologists and not government policy.

"These aren't amateurs or hacks. These are some of the best qualified men and women in their field," he said. "The object of this is to not get rid of wolves, but to strike a balance."

With a report from Katherine O'Neill in Edmonton

happycats
March 7th, 2008, 04:49 PM
OMG that's horrible!! When are these fools going to stop messing with mother nature!! When man tries to control mother nature and animal populations, we all lose :mad:

all wolves will breed if they cull (instead of just the alphas) which will weaken the gene pool!!

Shaykeija
March 8th, 2008, 12:16 AM
This is so wrong............

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x217/ladielover27/Wolf.jpg

Okami
March 8th, 2008, 03:25 PM
Wow, that's just rediculous. Human hands should never be involved in changing nature. Nature should change on it's own. Instead these people should start working to prevent what humans have done to start this kind of mess in the first place! =( Like preventing developement of these poor creatures habitat...

NoahGrey
March 9th, 2008, 07:30 AM
Wow, that's just rediculous. Human hands should never be involved in changing nature. Nature should change on it's own. Instead these people should start working to prevent what humans have done to start this kind of mess in the first place! =( Like preventing developement of these poor creatures habitat...

I agree..well said! I just can't understand the mentality of some people. They just can't understand why they have more wildlife in their "backyard"...it's because you are taking their habitat away. They have not other place to go.

I remember I got a call about a sick raccoon on someones property. (for wildlife, we only pick up sick/injured)

I pull up to the ladys house. Her house is nestled right in a forest. I see the raccoon and it is NOT sick. She states well I want it off my property. I inform her that there is NOTHING wrong with the raccoon, and too leave him be. I then inform her, that by relocating the raccoon, I could be leaving babies to fend for themselves. I also inform her that of where she lives, she will indeed come into contact with wildlife.

I get back into my truck and just shake my head. I'ts like geesh people..get a life!

ACO22

Love4himies
March 9th, 2008, 08:13 AM
I live in a forested area and love the wildlife around. Mother nature does take care of animal population all on its own. Killing the wolves is just going to create an overpopulation of them again, then the elk will destroy vegetation, will invade populated areas, become a threat to humans when they are birthing and rutting (sp??), then they will have to control the elk population.

Seems to me just a few years ago, Jasper shipped a bunch of elk out because there was such an overpopulation.

glitterless
March 15th, 2008, 04:56 PM
I'm not sure where I stand on this. I agree that we shouldn't be interfering with mother nature, but just living in the same area as wolves and other wildlife is interference right there. Building up cities and forcing animals to leave their natural habitat (and adjust to ours) is as unnatural as it gets. I believe that we do have to lend a hand to fix what we've already broken. While I don't want to see a massacre of wolves, I would also hate to see the elk and caribou wiped out.

Magicwildwolf69
March 15th, 2008, 09:58 PM
:wall:

Seems all the hard work we do just goes backwards and we are taking five steps back instead of one forward. I understand not wanting to loose the elk and deer species but to kill the wolves after we worked so hard to get their numbers back up is just crazy. I totally stand for the wolves, i did a research paper on wolves in school and the amount of species and subspecies that we have lost over the years because of killing is just sad. If there is such an overpopulation in one area why not relocate the wolves somewhere else instead of killing them off. Makes me so mad these beautiful animals keep getting destroyed.

rainbow
March 15th, 2008, 11:57 PM
Nature takes care of itself. It's the human race that destroys it. :sad: :wall:

glitterless
March 16th, 2008, 05:21 PM
Nature takes care of itself. It's the human race that destroys it. :sad: :wall:

That's so true. But I think we're a few hundred years too late to fix it.