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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Short sighted and truly evil in approach, the alberta Government is setting out poison baits to kill off Wolves in an attempt to prop up Caribou herds..........Of course the real threat to Caribou is the rampant development of the Tar Sands which blows up the land so badly and allows predators access to Caribou who previously were able to utilize the Boreal forest to hide in............Unlikely advocates, Trappers and Outfitters who are seeing their dogs as well as wildlife poisoned are petitioning the Government to "cease and desist" the poison campaign............."The government's own biologists admit that the caribou are all going to die no matter what is done as long as their habitat keeps getting destroyed by industry at the current rate...... So why kill all the wolves, moose and elk in this area?"--Outfitter Randy Tellier

Trappers, outfitters angered by 'senseless slaughter' of wolves

By Ed Struzik,

Poisoned wolf found by trapper.





Poisoned wolf found by trapper.


EDMONTON - Ken Cowles was in his cabin near Grande Cache last February when one of his dogs showed up looking very ill.Seeing that two of his other dogs were missing, he tracked them down to some poison bait that had been buried under a mound of snow.

Both dogs were dead, and in the short time that followed, Cowles saw an eagle fall out of the sky and the frozen carcass of a wolf that had ingested strychnine-laced meat placed at the site.
Cowles didn't have any doubt about who was responsible. For the past five years, the Alberta government has been poisoning wolves or shooting them from the air in an effort to save the Little Smoky caribou herd, which is in danger of disappearing.

"Less than a mile from my cabin, you have to wonder what they were thinking. This is a dangerous waste of time and energy killing wolves to save caribou that are more threatened by oil and gas and forestry developments than they are by predators," Cowles said.

Dissatisfied with the answers he received, Cowles and a small group of trappers and outfitters who work in the Little Smoky region are fed up. In a letter to Sustainable Resource Development Minister Frank Oberle, they demand an end to the wolf kill.

"It's another case of humans trying to control nature and in the process nature loses," they said in their letter."There are documented cases of eagles and dogs, which became victims of this senseless slaughter. Wolverine and grizzly bears also frequent these areas and, as scavengers, are sure to be eating these poison baits, also. Some of the poisoned animals are left there and when other animals eat them they also die."

Until now, opposition to the Alberta wolf-control program has been largely confined to environmentalists and scientists who consider the practice to be unethical and a waste of time and money, especially if caribou habitat isn't restored.

But now that trappers and outfitters are questioning the practice, both levels of government may have a difficult time expanding the wolf control program, which federal Environment Minister Peter Kent acknowledged was a possibility when his department last August released a draft plan for caribou recovery

All but one of the 13 caribou herds in Alberta are in decline. According to a recent study, nine of those will end up with fewer than 10 animals in the next 35 years if conservation measures aren't taken soon. "Very few people are aware that a portion of their tax dollars are going to kill off wolves and many other species of wildlife," outfitter Randy Tellier said.

"Why are they doing this? Their excuse for this slaughter is to protect the woodland caribou. Why are the caribou numbers so low in the first place? It is because of humans destroying the habitat. The real enemy of caribou are not wolves, it's industrial development."

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development spokesman Dave Ealey said it is "extremely unfortunate" that Cowles lost his dogs that way and said efforts are underway to make sure something like that won't happen again. Though the poisoning of wolves will be kept to a minimum, the cull will continue, he said.

"Since the department started managing wolves in this area five years ago, the Little Smoky caribou herd has stabilized," he says. "It is working in the way biologists hoped it would."
While there is no immediate plan to expand the wolf cull to stop the decline of caribou in other regions, Ealey acknowledged it is a management option.

Tellier said he and his colleagues are not trying to stop industrial development. What they want is the government to live up to a commitment they say was made several years ago to limit development in the Little Smoky area.

"The area the Little Smoky animals live in had a boundary or intactness area put in place by the government that was supposed to stop development," Tellier said. "In the last three years, that has fallen apart. There are now several new roads, many new clear cuts and logged out areas and at least four gas rigs working in the winter feeding grounds of the caribou."

"The government's own biologists admit that the caribou are all going to die no matter what is done as long as their habitat keeps getting destroyed by industry at the current rate. So why kill all the wolves, moose and elk in this area?"

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