(Public domain photo)

52 wolves have been culled since 2016 near Revelstoke

A recent study suggests wolf culling does not help caribou recovery, countering government research

Since the aerial wolf management program started in 2016 for Revelstoke, 52 wolves have been killed by the province to help stop declining caribou populations.

However, a recent study by scientists from multiple Canadian universities, suggest there is no evidence that predator control will save mountain caribou.

“This comes at no surprise at all,” said Sadie Parr, executive director of Wolf Awareness, a non-profit firmly against wolf culling.

READ MORE: Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

READ MORE: Revelstoke-area petition to end wolf cull submitted to province

The new study found statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting wolf culls, which has been used by the B.C. government to expand its wolf cull program, killing 463 wolves in the past year.

“We’ve been duped,” said Parr.

Since 2015, 1208 wolves have been killed by the province. According to Wildsafe BC, there are approximately 8,500 wolves in the province.

The new study said the main factors impacting caribou decline include habitat loss, snowpack variation and snowmobiling.

“We can’t kill our way to saving caribou,” said Parr.

READ MORE: New study says disrupting wolf movement more effective at protecting caribou than culls

She said wolves are an invaluable part of the ecosystem. For example, reintroducing wolves in 1995 to Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. caused a cascade of ecological change, including increasing beaver populations and brought back aspen trees.

Wolves were killed off in Yellowstone in the 1930s to help elk populations, which exploded, causing widespread erosion.

According to the Wilderness Committee, an organization aiming to protect biological diversity in Canada, there are multiple logging cuts planned by BC Timber Sales in the caribou habitat in the Revelstoke area.

Earlier this month, the province announced $1.1 million to fund seven caribou habitat restoration projects across the B.C., one of which is replanting trees along an 11-kilometre road in the upper Bigmouth Valley, approximately 130 kilometres north of Revelstoke.

READ MORE: Province announces $1.1 million in funding to restore caribou habitat

READ MORE: U.S. caribou near Revelstoke survive first year

Yet, Parr said the province isn’t doing enough to protect caribou habitat.

The province still stands behind predator control and despite what the new study says, said wolf culling has immediate and positive impacts on caribou populations.

While the aerial wolf management program was scheduled to end this year, the province said data from the program will be evaluated to determine the next steps and if the program will continue.

Caribou in B.C. have declined from 40,000 in the early 1900s to less than 19,000 today. There are 54 herds provincewide, 30 of which are at risk of extinction and 14 have fewer than 25 animals.

The province is working on caribou herd management plans and one for Revelstoke is expected by the end of the year.

READ MORE: Province says upcoming caribou plans for Revelstoke shouldn’t largely impact industry or recreation

However, when Minister of Forests Doug Donaldson, visited Revelstoke in March, he told stakeholders it’s unlikely more land will be set aside to protect caribou.

“Our biologists feel that we have set enough land aside,” he said at the time.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Wildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A variety of art coming to Revelstoke gallery this fall

A members’ show in December will act as a gift market

Roots & Blues announces ticket giveaway ahead of online festival

The festival is streaming free online this year, but those who pre-register can win passes for 2021.

Molotov cocktails thrown at Revelstoke home in arson attempt

The flames were extinguished before they spread

Stay Revy launches despite pandemic

The new vacation rental management company works with legal vacation rentals

Revelstokian raises money for mental health

A Revelstoke local recently raised $2,600 for mental health services at Community… Continue reading

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Penticton man wakes to wildfire, forced to evacuate

A wildfire sparked off the side of Highway 97 near Penticton on Thursday

Anti-gang cops probe Kelowna’s street-level drug trade over B.C. Day long weekend

CFSEU’s Gang Enforcement Team was deployed to Kelowna last weekend

Man allegedly wielding knife at Kelowna Superstore arrested

The 29-year-old Kelowna man has been released on strict conditions for a future court date

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

Most Read