Wolf Cull Science

Defender Radio POdcast 717 Wolf Cull Science British Columbia Amelia Porter

British Columbia has ordered the killing of hundreds of wolves as part of their caribou recovery plan in recent years. You can hear more about this plan, the maternal penning and ongoing habitat destruction in episodes past. A 2019 study gave scientific support to killing wolves to protect the caribou – despite widespread opposition, it largely became government policy.

But this summer, a new paper was published that not only challenges the first study, but points to multiple flaws that may have contributed to government sanctioned killing of 463 wolves in the last year alone. The new paper, titled, ‘No statistical support for wolf control and maternal penning as conservation measures for endangered mountain caribou’ was published in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation. In it, the authors describe the lack of a ‘null model’ in the original paper as a major flaw – as well as a few other issues.

This is a highly politicized issue with many factors; but truly understanding what the missing null model means and how it impacts the rest of the science – and ultimately the government policy – was difficult for me. That’s why I reached out to Amelia Porter. Amelia is one of The Fur-Bearers science advisors; as a registered professional biologist, Amelia works as an environmental scientist and has the skills – and patience – to break down the complex science of these cull-related studies. She joined Defender Radio to review the two primary studies involved in this latest conversation and why we should be pushing for government to follow the latest science to protect caribou and wolves.

We’ve got one extra bit that didn’t make it into our interview, too, so hang on after the full interview to hear it!

This episode is sponsored by AnimalStone.com! A family-owned and operated business based in Toronto, AnimalStone handmakes gorgeous charms of animals – and gives back a portion of proceeds to non-profits working to protect those animals! Even better, the metals used are ethically sourced in Canada and often come from recycled materials. Listeners of Defender Radio can get 10% off their order by using promo code DEFENDERRADIO at AnimalStone.com. Learn more about this great company and their beautiful jewellery at AnimalStone.com.


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