BC To Remove Up To 24 Wolves To Save Selkirk Caribou

To save a caribou herd that is at “high risk of local extinction,” British Columbia wildlife managers say they are going to take immediate action to remove its “leading cause of mortality”: wolves.

South Selkirk caribou also wander the high mountains of extreme Northeast Washington, North Idaho and Northwest Montana.

A USFWS MAP SHOWS THE AREA OF THE SOUTHERN SELKIRKS MOUNTAIN CARIBOU ARE KNOWN TO WANDER. (USFWS)

A USFWS MAP SHOWS THE AREA OF THE SOUTHERN SELKIRKS MOUNTAIN CARIBOU ARE KNOWN TO WANDER. (USFWS)

According to an information bulletin from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations that went out today, with all of 18 South Selkirk woodland caribou left in BC as of last winter, they will kill up to 24 wolves from a helicopter before the snow melts.

Provincial authorities say that six of those 18 ungulates had been radio-collared, and that two — which represent over 10 percent of the herd — were killed by wolves in the past 10 months.

AN ANNOUNCEMENT ON FINAL CRITICAL HABITAT FOR THE WOODLAND CARIBOU FORM THE U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE INCLUDED THIS IMAGE OF A BULL FROM THE SOUTHERN SELKIRK POPULATION. (USFWS)

AN ANNOUNCEMENT ON FINAL CRITICAL HABITAT FOR THE WOODLAND CARIBOU FORM THE U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE INCLUDED THIS IMAGE OF A BULL FROM THE SOUTHERN SELKIRK POPULATION. (USFWS)

At least one Washington wolf pack could conceivably come under the gun. The Salmo Pack’s range stretches into British Columbia west of BC’s Stagleap Park.

Two other packs in the state overlap where the caribou might hang out in the US in winter, high in the mountains of northern Pend Oreille County, supping on lichen.

draft_pack_map_2-27-2014

BC will also target wolves roaming the range of another herd of the super-rare caribou, in the Peace River area.

Managers say that both actions conform with a wolf management plan adopted last year.

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31 thoughts on “BC To Remove Up To 24 Wolves To Save Selkirk Caribou”

  1. As a sportsmen and conservationist I find this as a reality check to those who think wolves are doing our big game herds any justice . Not only do wolves kill , they also cause major stress to our big game herds . How can anyone disagree with this ? It also has a major impact on female elk and deer who are now pregnant with calves and fawns and when they are most venerable over the winter months . You have my support to kill them all !

    1. I think the important thing here is that wildlife biologists appear to be backed up by scientific data that shows the impact wolves are having on this small, struggling herd that frequents Washington. I think there are other issues for the caribou too, and it remains to be seen what the future holds for them. But I sure as hell think they’re worth saving, on both sides of the border. I mean, how cool is it that we have caribou — CARIBOU?!? — in the Northwest. If wolves are one symbol of wilderness (Ruby Creek wolf, excepted), then caribou are as well. I say that as someone who has long been aware of the species in Washington, not as a Johnny-come-lately.

      AW
      NWS

    2. You are an anti-wildlife terrorist who only is interested in killing wildlife. Wolves are the managers of the elk, deer, and moose. Get used to that. Wolves manage the elk, deer, and moose like they have been doing for many thousands of years

      1. No, wolves are NOT the managers of wildlife. Man has & will always be the managers of all species. Without our assistance there would be nothing left of any species with the wolf populations going unchecked.

        1. bb, wrong, wolves are the managers of the elk, deer, and moose. Get over it wildlife hater. Wolves have been co-existing with other animals for many thousands of years. You are misinformed and ignorant. Your assistance is not needed. Wolves have shown they are capable of managing the wildlife as they have been doing so for thousands and thousands of years. The elk, deer, and moose are the food source of the wolves, cougars, and bears. Wolves are conservationists. The #1 conservationist in fact, their leftovers get eaten up by other wild animals therefore conserving those wild animals from starving to death.

      2. Not so . We kill elk to sustain our famlies. These wolves are not the native wolves that once romed this area. They are distroying way more then just the elk. It is easy to say they are beautiful when you are sitting in your warm, safe, home. It is totaly different when you are surounded by five or six of them just out of your sight. When they run through your yard at night. When your grandchildren do not want to play outside
        in the middle of the day.

    3. What a ludicrous and self-entitled comment you have made. As a sportsman, you mean as a ruthless hunter for pleasure! You are a sociopath. Wolves kill like any other predator that needs to survive! They do not go rogue like hunters and kill anything they can. They have families to feed and life is tough. You have no argument to justify your opinion but an egotistical attitude and a sense of entitlement to wildlife yourself. How many elk and deer do you kill for pleasure? Deer and elk are part of the wolf’s natural resources for food. Human encroachment on their habitats have made them vulnerable not only to being closer to humans but to ranchers who blame them endlessly for their losses. Does killing an animal really show conservationism? No it does not. True conservation efforts involve keeping wildlife away from human contact, keeping their sources of food theirs and theirs ONLY, and not lobbying for self-absorbed hunters as yourself who believe that every animal was put on this Earth for our benefit. It is disgraceful how you call yourself a conservationist. You are far from this. No animal should be culled by any ‘wildlife management’ service who is only there to please human interests. That is against wildlife! Co-existence should be the only solution and every effort to attain that. Unfortunately, we have the wrong people who are making the decisions, and people like you who are the enemies of wildlife!

      1. From an outsider’s perspective, it might look like guys poking holes in wildlife are the enemy, but really, we are not. The wolves are doing fantastically well because we stood up for their prey 100 years ago. No prey, no wolves. We are the original conservationists, tho others are horning in on that title. We’ve got a legitimate stake in this.

        AW
        NWS

        1. Disagree 100%. Hunters are not conservationists. Wildlife watchers who shoot wildlife with their cameras are the conservationists.

          1. Curious, are any taxes collected on that camera gear to go back to wildlife management?

            On the other hand, I guess it’s a good thing that excise taxes weren’t put on canisters of slide and print film and Polaroids, seeing as how those revenue streams would have dried up by now, leaving wildlife hanging — unlike the taxes on rifles, shotguns and ammunition that hunters have been paying for decades.

            Thanks to Pittman-Robertson as well as Dingell-Johnson, a whopping $15 billion for nationwide wildlife and sport fish restoration have been raised since the acts’ passage, and that’s been matched by $5 billion from state game and fish agencies.

            AW
            NWS

        2. Uhm… excuse me, Mr. Walgamott, but why did the hunters HAVE TO stand up for the prey at all? As far as I am informed, it were NOT the wolves – or any other wild predators – that brought ungulate populations down to near extinction levels, making drastic measures and a whole bundle of new laws necessary to save and recover traditional game species.
          Hunters claiming to be the “original conservationists” always somehow remind me of that firefighter bragging about how wonderfully he extinguished the fire he has set himself…

          1. Perhaps what you’re thinking of, Ms. Johanna Duffek-Kowal, are market hunters.

            It must seem an intriguing title to steal, conservationist, but it won’t be stolen without a fight.

            AW

    4. Its unfortunate so many are so uneducated or even willing to be educated. Scientific data and proven evidence have been provided far beyond required. Mining, oil, timber, and over extension of agricultural/ ranching have wasted more habitat and forced wildlife into oblivion, but its always easier to blame a scapegoat. I am Lakota from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. I have as a named warrior pledged to protect Grandmother Earth, her wildlife, the People(Lakota) and our Spiritual Ways. When all is gone and all you have is oil to drink, gas to breathe, uranium to eat, your money wont buy you back one life of all you have murdered.

      1. I think we are on the same page when it comes to the importance of habitat. No habitat, no prey, no wolves. But can heavily altered habitats be expected to function like Yellowstone with the addition of wolves?

        AW
        NWS

    5. You undoubtedly are RIGHT to state that wolves have various impacts on ungulates aside from plainly killing them. For example, wolves make ungulates really nervous, forcing them to be more wary and to move around more, instead of grazing in the same area until the lack of any more devourable plants forces them to move, or to organize in smaller, more mobile herds instead of a slowly moving huge buffet table.
      That, of course, is very inconvenient for hunters used to large herds of game, grazing on the same spot for days or even weeks, and making hunting considerably harder than shooting a cow on a fenced pasture.
      As for that declining Selkirk caribou herd, wolves certainly hunt and kill those caribou – when finding them. A very small herd of 18 caribou, on the other hand, certainly is NOT a sufficient food base for even ONE pack of wolves, forcing the conclusion that they have to primarily live off OTHER ungulates. Elk come to mind pretty fast. Elk happen to be food competitors for caribous, with migrating elk herds, for example, pushing caribous out of their habiatat up in Canada.
      Of course every sane wolf pack will prefer caribou for dinner, as elk are not only bigger, but also a lot meaner. So… will killing wolves save the caribou herds? The answer is a loud and clear NO – as the caribou can NOT survive in areas already overgrazed by overpopulations of ELK, which, by the way, will turn into the wolves’ MAIN prey as a matter of demand and SUPPLY. Wolves might prefer caribou as “easier kill”, but will not go hungry for days in search of the few remaining caribou, if they can easily find lots of ELK to prey on instead.
      So… HOW big, exactly, are those big game herds of non-caribou ungulates in the Selkirk area?

      1. I know of a herd of between 150 to 200 elk that have moved into the lowlands outside of Bonners Ferry. I’ve lived here 46 years and the elk have never come around our 250 acre farm. These elk stay in the area 3 miles south of Bonners Ferry and cross Hwy 95 regularly. Before 4 years ago we never saw these herds. Since the movement of wolves into the area the elk come up to our haybarns. Also no elk were in Boundary County until they moved in during the 1950’s. The wolves that were introduced in the area are larger Canadian gray wolves. The wolves that were native to Boundary County were about twice the size of a coyote. The larger wolves are making game move into areas that are new to the game. At nights you can drive by our farm and watch the elk jump up on the fifth wheel trailers to get into the barns if you like. Just not normal activity for elk.

  2. Wolves, cougars, coyotes, lynx, and other predators belong in the eco-system, but proper conservation of both prey and predator species is absolutely necessary.

    Wolves should be allowed to flourish as a species, but at certain times killing a select number of them is necessary to maintain the ecological balance

    I am not in favor killing all wolves into extinction, just because you do not want competition for prey species like caribou, moose, and elk. and deer.

    But, selectively killing these 24 wolves to save the Selkirk Caribou herd will not cause wolves to become extinct.

    No doubt, my comment will put me at odds with both die-hard wolf huggers who are against this kind of ecologically necessary killing of these 24 wolves to save the Selkirk Caribou herd, and die-hard wolf haters who want all wolves exterminated! In other words, to everyone reading my comment, you will consider me to an idiot on the border of wolf realism!

    If you are city slicker and take a camping vacation into the wilderness, it is a delight to hear wolves howling and maybe even catch sight of them. But, if you live in wolf country, the wolves eat your beloved dog, decimate your livestock, and reduce prey species so much, that you missed successfully hunting a deer, elk, moose, or caribou, that you needed to put in your freezer to help your family get through the winter, then you will definitely have a very different opinion about wolves!

  3. Killing these wolves is not a problem? Since when is killing animals “not a problem” …listen to you guys..it would be the same as “let’s kill some humans” they are overpopulated and driving other species into extinct…wich is true actualy!

    1. Killing wolves is the same as killing humans? Are you serious? Do you really believe we are equal with animals? That is crazy, if there is a fire in a building and you can save a person or a animal I’m not thinking twice about saving the person because we are not equal. Human life > animal life

      1. I believe animals are superior to people like you. My dog is 100 times more important than you or your family.

  4. These new wolves have ran the original wolf species that roamed the lower 48 into extinction…gone for ever… and now they are about to do the same with the Selkirk caribou

    City people have nothing to lose in this since they never actually see the destruction that happens when they play god….

    We’re all part of nature…this is called dealing with consequences…i just wish they made the people that reintroduced all these wolfs pull the trigger

    1. Careful biting on that story — it’s highly likely that the wolves spreading throughout the West are the same as were here before. Wolves from Canada were already recolonizing the Northern Rockies before the 66 were captured near Hinton, Alberta, and Fort. St. John, BC. Hard to believe that a species that causes such turmoil — not to mention, likes to howl a lot — could have gone unnoticed for decades in the American West.

      AW
      NWS

    2. 100% false and wrong. Hunters and trappers ran the wolf into extinction. You wolf hunters are misinformed like usual. The wolves is nature’s manager of the elk, deer, and moose. Accept that fact

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