For those of you that may not be up to speed, back in June Canada’s Eastern wolves got a name change and are now known as Algonquin wolves. More important than that however is that their at-risk status deteriorated and they have fallen from Special Concern to Threatened.
This is a problem.
Wolves are vital to the health and balance of our ecosystems. They don’t just assist in keeping the population of their prey in check, in some cases they have been shown to completely revitalize the entire structure of the systems in which they live. (See: Yellowstone Park).
Despite the evidence supporting the dire importance of our wolves protection, the Ontario government seems to think that they shouldn’t be awarded the same protection as our other endangered species.
This is a huge problem.
The first proposal by the Ontario government prohibits wolf trapping and hunting in 3 areas, the Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands, Killarney Provincial Parks and Kawartha Highlands Signature Site, which might make you say, “Hey that’s actually a great initiative, good job government!”…but you’d be wrong. Wolf hunting has been banned at those sites for years. It does not address the fact that wolves migrate, and by not protecting them outside of those sites the species will not have a strong enough fighting chance to repopulate.
The second proposal was a regulation change that acts as an exemption for licensed hunters to continue to kill wolves outside the designated zones above. How our government thinks this is okay is laughable at best, if it wasn’t so outrageous.
These decisions were announced just yesterday, which just so happens to be the same day hunting and trapping season opened. Our government is not doing enough to protect these valuable, beautiful creatures and we need to be talking more about it.
A few summers ago while camping in Algonquin park I was privileged to hear a wild wolf pack howling in the dead of the night. It was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had, the thought of it still sends chills down my spine. My hope is that we will be able to hear those sounds for all the years to come.
The good people at wolvesontario.org have all of this information and more on their website. Please take the time to educate yourself on this very serious issue and make your voice heard by filling out the form provided and sending in your concerns to Minister McKenna. Sign up to their newsletter for all updates.