Editor, The Times:
There have been a number of newspaper articles of late debating whether wolf populations should be managed or left alone. At present, the wolf populations have increased considerably.
This can be attributed to two main factors: an abundant food source as we had a healthy population of prey – moose, deer, caribou and easy winters which allowed wolf as well as prey species to survive the winters well and usually produce more offspring.
However, there are a number of factors indicating the wolf population needs to be managed:
1) Prey species populations (moose and deer) have been seriously impacted. Hunters experienced considerably fewer animals this past hunting season. Hunters also seen a larger number of wolves this past season and trappers have taken a larger number of wolves.
2) Farmers appear to be experiencing more problems with wolves attacking their stock. This is most likely a result of decreasing populations of moose and deer.
3) Caribou populations do not seem to be increasing despite measures taken to set aside habitat and restrictions placed on snowmobile and heli-ski activities.
4) Wolves have also been recognized as a limiting factor on endangered caribou populations. Caribou usually migrate to the alpine in the spring to have their young to escape the wolves.
If wolves can use logging roads or snowmobile trails to follow the caribou, they usually have a serious impact on caribou calves thus limiting any increase to the caribou population.
What is the result of taking no action to manage the wolf population?
1) Prey species (moose, deer, caribou) populations will continue to decrease;
2) Farmers are likely to experience further losses as prey species decline as wolves need to eat to survive;
3) As wolves food source declines, they will have a lower number of offspring to bring nature back into balance. However, a number of adult wolves will starve, as there will be an inadequate amount of food to support increased wolf populations. Furthermore, prey species will be seriously reduced – moose, deer and endangered caribou.
My question would be – Is no action a responsible action? I would be interested to hear how the Ministry responsible for managing wildlife populations intends to deal with this situation.