Open letter to Steve Thompson, MLA Kelowna-Mission, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations:
I am very concerned about your Ministry’s announcement that there will be an aerial kill of wolves in B.C. It astounds me that you would resort to such archaic methods of control to preserve dwindling stocks of caribou.
I read the report (in full, I might add) on the management of wolves in our province. While there was much information on grey wolves, there was little on the caribou that your ministry is trying to protect. Where is the evidence that caribou declines are due to wolf kill?
WWF (World Wildlife Fund) reports on a ban by the federal government on caribou hunting on Baffin Island. It is reported that the decline in caribou populations is due to a natural cycle and climate change, indicating that there is not enough lichen for the caribou to eat.
What studies have there been on caribou populations in this province showing what the caribou are eating and is that affecting the dwindling numbers? In other words, is there proof that the wolves are causing the decline in caribou numbers or is it the habitat itself?
If the decline in numbers is honestly due to wolf kill, why kill the wolves when there are more humane and less draconian methods of wolf management such as relocating the wolves to other areas in B.C. such as north-eastern B.C., where numbers of wolves are much less? Or introducing other ungulate populations? Or managing food resources and the ecosystem for the caribou?
An aerial cull will result in pack dynamics being upset and will lead to weaker animals. How will a cull affect the ecosystem (as per Yellowstone Park)?
Surely all animals should be protected in our country, and natural selection should be given more credence.