To the editor:
I am writing to express my opposition to the planned wolf kill program that the British Columbia government is considering.
Killing more than 180 wolves through aerial hunting, in the absence of protecting adequate caribou habitat, is unjustifiable. Wolves are social animals which are integral to ecosystem function. They deserve protection and should not be exterminated because the B.C. government has failed to protect enough habitat for caribou.
Further research is needed to say definitively that wolves are the cause of the decreasing caribou population. Virtually no evidence has been provided to show that slaughtering this many innocent animals will have any effect on the caribou population.
Wolves, being highly intelligent pack animals, understand and mourn when a member of the pack dies. They feel emotions just as we do and when something traumatic happens in the pack it increases aggression and predation.
Not only will these killings upset the population of what should be a protected animal, but we have very little confidence that it will actually make a difference. A more plausible theory for the drop in caribou numbers could be attributed to habitat loss, and lack of food source (lichens) because of this.
Furthermore, if wolves are proved to be what is killing the caribou, then what right do we, as people, have to interfere with a very natural process. Natural selection will do what it will do, populations will decline and populations will rise. It’s the way its always been. Wolves are an innocent species that have every right to be protected by us just as caribou are.
There are solutions and alternatives to protecting caribou but killing wolves should not be one of them.