Alberta may kill thousands of wolves

Discussion in 'Wolf Hunting' started by Len Backus, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    OTTAWA — Thousands of wolves stand to be killed in Alberta as part of the federal government's new plan to sustain caribou in the oilsands area, environmental researchers say.

    It's a calculation that Environment Minister Peter Kent doesn't contest, even though he wishes he could.

    "You are talking about very large numbers," Kent said in an interview.

    "Culling is an accepted if regrettable scientific practice and means of controlling populations and attempting to balance what civilization has developed. I've got to admit, it troubles me that that's what is necessary to protect this species."

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  2. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    I keep going back to read the part "100 wolves need to die to save 4 caribou calves" thinking I read it wrong. There have been studies in other species that have shown tremendous differences in elk/sheep/deer/antelope survival pre and post predator control.
    It would be interesting to know what that number is based on.
    Sportsmen should take note of how aggressive of a plan it takes to trim wolf numbers in a meaningful way.
     

  3. T3-OleMan

    T3-OleMan Well-Known Member

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    Thousands......kind of like 600 Lawyers in the bottom of the ocean thingeeeyyyy!!!!! It's a pretty good start!:rolleyes:




    .......
     
  4. freebird63

    freebird63 Well-Known Member

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    I post this not be flamed. I admitt I am no biologist or wildlife expert. But I am curious as to how all these animals got along before man got involved. I know alot has to do with the sheer growth of the human population, but there are areas that are still not inhabited by humans and there are problems with wildlife numbers. I know what my dad has to say about the low levels of mule deer here close to Boise Idaho, he always comments about how they always got their bucks when he was younger and he is only 68. Am just curious what others have to say abou it??????
     
  5. sendero72

    sendero72 Well-Known Member

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    Just remember that the info is coming from an environmental media source. Granted that Alberta covers a large area, but thousands of wolves, I have some doubts as to the numbers. I'd like to see what their wildlife dept has for the numbers and define the numbers. They could be running up the number for the sympathy factor to get support to lower the number of wolves to be culled. Just can't trust them.
     
  6. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    The numbers truly have to be questioned. Black Bear here in Washington took 50% of the Elk calves studied. A Bighorn study (I think New Mexico) had Mt. Lions taking like 80% of the lambs, one control group of Pronghorn Antelope improved from 8 to 88 fawns per 100 does before and after coyote control. NE Montana just finished a study of Elk calves that showed significant predation, the exact numbers elude me right now, but Bear, Cougar, and Wolves were well represented. Of course they didn't count the ones that they couldn't find enough of to say exactly what happened.
    At the local level my partner has committed to killing an Idaho wolf. Several weekends on the ATV daylight to dark. Call relocate call. He reports almost no calf elk, but plenty of wolf tracks, and responsive howls. He's been scouting since the 4th of July and hunting since Labor day, and this pattern remains unchanged.
    Here the "Wildlife" Department no longer looks at the effect of predators left unchecked. Instead we get reduced opportunities for both predator and prey. Their current mantra is "Poachers did it" which secures their jobs as license sales fall. Poachers aren't killing the calf crop. I've seen quotes from the BC biologist stating the negative effect of wolves on caribou, and being skeptical about the projected outcome of planting them here.
    Remind me of the line John Wayne used in Mclintock, caught with another woman on his lap he asks "Now are you gonna believe what you see-or what I tell You"
     
  7. Marine sniper

    Marine sniper Well-Known Member

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    Where can I send them some ammo.....
     
  8. Speedo

    Speedo Well-Known Member

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    These animals may have got along before humans, that was long, long ago. Humans have been a part of the overall picture for many thousands of years. I don't believe that it was at a steady level, rather highs and lows that may have been seen as steady over long periods of time, not on a year to year or even decade to decade level.

    Do you think that the predators kept things at an even level? I believe that predators depressed prey populations then moved on to different areas till prey populations recovered in an area devastated by the predators. Now that the human population prevents them from just moving on to a new location. Since predator/prey populations are already human influenced we need to affect balance in other ways. Remember that hunters are the most effective conservationists. Just my humble opinion.

    Gus
     
  9. freebird63

    freebird63 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you speedo, your answer makes more sense then others I have heard. That would go along with the native americans "Indians", when they harvest all the animals in an area they would then move on to a new area and new hunting grounds.
     
  10. angus-5024

    angus-5024 Well-Known Member

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    Ive lived in the lower part of northern Alberta for a year now. I have seen one family lose not one, not two, but 7 prized miniature horses. Thats just one example of what they do. I went out one evening on a special permit to cull a few, I was unsuccessful but saw a few of the carcasses. only the most tender area's eaten. then the animal left for the crows. I like wolves and hope to have them around for when my kids have kids, but at the same time they are a serious problem needing adress.
     
  11. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Well-Known Member

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    I'm with Speedo. Why do folks say/think that before man settle in larger numbers there was equilibrium between predators & prey? I'd expect an ebb & flow, up & down relationship. That's what the wolf-moose studies on Ilse Royal suggest. Predators eat well & expand when food is abundant & numbers contract during lean times.

    Unless we're all going back to the prairie or caves I don't see any problem with limiting predator numbers to increase game populations. I think the pendulum has swung to far in favor of protecting all types of predators. The anti hunters are behind much of it.

    Even with some of the legal wolf seasons in the lower 48. I think the limits are to low to have any meaningful effect, it's a good start though.
     
  12. Capt. D

    Capt. D Well-Known Member

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    Now I'll say up front that I don't have any first hand experience with wolves. The little that I have read of the wolf since the reintroductions indicates that there is certainly a problem. I recently read that Yellowstone has lost approximately 80% of its Elk herd since the reintroduction of the wolf, its larger northern cousin that has killed off the indigenous resident population. It is a well known fact that any predator population will stick around as long as there is prey accessible to them.

    How long will it be before the elk population in Yellowstone has dwindled enough for them to move out of the park if they have not already started.

    How long will it be before they move into the urban areas and more human lives are lost because they have killed everything else in the area.

    What will it take for the radical environmentalist to understand that a steak does not just come from the store.

    I'm sure that the Feds already know of the problem that they have created with the restoration of the wolf, especially by introducing their larger northern cousin, and now may be feeling a little guilt but doing something about in now would be regressive, and we all know how the government feels about that.
     
  13. ATH

    ATH Well-Known Member

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    I am sure there was cycles and ebbs and flows however, IMHO, anything we see will be much more pronounced in the degree of the swing due to the influence of humans. One cannot compare the presence of a few thousand Indians in the entire West, to the millions of people permanently modifying the majority of the landscape.

    Isle Royale, with which I am very familiar having spent much time there and being a biology graduate of the university which did the studies, is a poor example in many ways yet apt in others. It is a poor example if the comparison is to the old West; Isle Royale is a closed system where neither predator nor prey can move on to a new area. In the old West, both populations were free to move in response to the presence or absence of the other.

    In the new West, the presence of large human populations and a modified landscape inhibits prey from having the flexibility they used to in fleeing from predators. In this way it is much like Isle Royale. On Isle Royale, the swing in prey populations can be quite extreme. I don't think that's something we should want to emulate when we can avoid it.
     
  14. ATH

    ATH Well-Known Member

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    I think you give them far too much credit. ;)