A proposal to increase the killing of wolves and coyotes in Northern Ontario as a misguided attempt to help reducing moose populations has failed. This victory for the animals is a result of a strong letter-writing campaign by all of you, as well as adherence to modern science on predator/ungulate management practices.
The initial proposal was released for public comment by the Ministry of Natural Resources in January and resulted in a total of 12,113 comments over a seven-day period. The proposal would have made it easier to hunt coyote and wolves in moose hunting territories, and removed the licensing and reporting methods currently required.
The Environmental Registry website notes that several issues with the proposal emerged from opponents, including:
- The proposal would reverse steps taken to protect wolves in recent years;
- There would not be adequate for at-risk Eastern wolves;
- That predation is not the root cause of moose population declines and the killing of wolves and coyotes would not assist the moose population broadly; and,
- The proposal would eliminate useful monitoring and harvest data.
The Fur-Bearers were one of many Ontario and national groups asking for their supporters to speak against this proposal and call it out for what it was: a knee-jerk reaction to hunters who weren’t prepared to kill fewer moose or invest in real science to determine the decline of populations.
It is exciting to see that science, in conjunction with an informed public, can result in more responsible and compassionate wildlife management policy. Congratulations to all those who wrote, and, on behalf of the wolves, thank you.