Wolves of Vancouver Island could be exposed to even more traps if an unscientific regulation proposal moves forward.
The proposal, which is tucked away on the government’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development's Angling, Hunting and Trapping Engagement Website (AHTE), recommends changing Vancouver Island’s wolf trapping season from November 1 to June 30 to September 10 to June 30 – a significant increase of 51 days.
What is shocking is the rationale: they’re not sure how many wolves there are (because finding out properly is “costly and difficult”), but according to anecdotal witness reports (not formally tracked or measured), there is an increased number of sightings, scats, and tracks. This, in conjunction with a reported decrease in deer populations, leads the policy writers to believe that increasing wolf trapping season is a positive move.
Let’s break this down more clearly (it will be helpful during your letter writing):
- There is no reliable, measurable count on wolves on Vancouver Island (the last population count of a small section of the island was in 1994, according to the proposal);
- There is no reliable, measurable data that would suggest changes in populations of wolves on Vancouver Island;
- There is an implied connection between the alleged increase in wolf sightings and decrease in deer population, but no evidence given of a causal link, nor any further information on the deer populations (such as cause, research, etc.);
- There is no information on current wolf trapping numbers, by-catch/non-target species caught or killed by these traps and how many more wolves and other species the proposal would lead to being killed; and,
- There is no rationale explaining why an increase of wolves, if there is one, requires an extended trapping season.
The proposal also fails to acknowledge the trapping-related safety issues for domestic animals and people alike. The AHTE site requires login to the BCeID system, and it does not appear that significant effort was made to include all stakeholders in the process.
Submit a comment on the AHTE calling for the government to drop this proposed regulatory change, and ensure that proper research is conducted prior to moving forward with other proposals. Stick with the science – or the lack thereof – as emotional appeals about trapping or consumptive animal use don’t address the content of the proposal. You can use our sample comment below and create a login for a BCeID at https://www.bceid.ca/register. Use the “Basic BCeID” unless you use the system for business or other personal reasons. You can then comment on the proposal by clicking here.
We also recommend contacting your MLA (find your BC MLA here) and the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca)and to request these proposals be advertised so that all stakeholders will hear of them – and that scientific explanations with link to relevant research be part of them.
Re: Proposal 2018-1-10 to lengthen wolf trapping season on Vancouver Island
This proposed regulatory change fails to provide the basic data required to support a decision to expand wolf trapping on Vancouver Island. There is no confirmed research on current or recent wolf populations, there is no peer-reviewed research from the anecdotal evidence provided by consumptive-users, and there is no information on current wolf trapping numbers, by-catch/non-target species caught or killed, or how this increased season would impact those numbers.
Additionally, there is no explanation, linked research, or actual rationale to connect the alleged change in wolf populations with the unexplained/possibly unresearched change in deer population.
The lack of information regarding these statements is alarming, and I expect the government to reject this proposal and demand further research before any similar proposals are brought forward.
Please contact The Fur-Bearers if you receive a response from a politician or ally regarding this proposal and your comment or concerns.