… while further destroying endangered woodland caribou habitat.
As the Canadian based Organizations Wild Canada Conservation Alliance and wolfawareness.inc claimed last week, for the past two years the Government of Alberta killed hundreds of wolves as a central effort to “recover” endangered caribou. In their call for action they write the following:
“Due to loss and fragmentation of habitat, increasing numbers of deer and moose are sharing caribou habitat.”
…As if some sinister alien force came to Alberta and began to destroy and fragment caribou habitat ….
“Maintaining caribou population and habitat is a priority”
…Unless, of course, rampant oil, gas, road-building and timber activities are higher priorities …”
These are quotes from the Alberta Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development’s media release on the 10th of January 2015. (see more here)
Alberta has attempted to address the recovery of woodland caribou populations repeatedly over the past 30 years (plans were produced in 1986, 1993, 1996 and 2005). Most of these recommendations were shelved and summarily forgotten. None of the Province’s efforts to date have provided meaningful protection to caribou habitat or populations, and caribou numbers have continued to decline.
Oil, gas, timber, and recreation activities—the core cause of caribou decline—have continued and accelerated over the past 30 years. As a result, in spite of these studies and recommendations, caribou vanish from the landscape as industrial and other activities carry on as though government doesn’t give a damn. And, clearly, it doesn’t.
- It is illustrative that in adopting the Alberta Woodland Caribou Recovery Plan 2004/05 to 2013/14, the Ministry specifically rejected the Plan’s central recommendation (in Section 7.2) of a “moratorium on further mineral and timber allocations on specific caribou ranges,” thus ignoring the most essential component of caribou recovery.
- A four-year study led by Samuel Wasser, director of the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington found in 2011 that the caribou in the area were more threatened by habitat loss because of oil and gas development than they were by wolves.
- Between 2006 and 2011, the government of Alberta spent more than $1 million poisoning wolves with strychnine and shooting them from the air.
- Currently there are dozens of current or approved OILSANDS PROJECTS within caribou ranges with many more on the drawing board.
- “Let’s talk numbers.” To date, more than 900 wolves have been killed by the Province in these programs. More killings are on the way this winter with taxpayer supported “aerial shooting, trapping, and toxicants”
This senseless slaughter must stop and we from European Wilderness Society supports this call.
You can help the wolves and the caribous by telling the Province of Alberta:
- The senseless, cruel, ineffective and smoke-screen of wolf killing must stop immediately.
- The Province must suspend leasing and other resource extraction leases and permits in caribou habitat until an effective caribou recovery plan is put in place and resource operators commit to caribou recovery.
- New regulations must be developed and implemented to ensure current operations do absolute minimal damage to caribou and other wildlife habitat.
- Linear disturbance in caribou habitat must be minimised. Select access routes must be shared by operators and un-used routes rehabilitated immediately.
- The Alberta Woodland Caribou Recovery Plan must be implemented in its entirety immediately, with annual progress reports (preferably by an independent professional third party) provided to the people of Alberta.
- Alberta will never be able to claim it’s oil is not dirty when it is covered in blood.
- Premier Jim Prentice’s 4th government priority is, “Establishing Alberta as an environmental leader.” (http://alberta.ca/premier.cfm) Please tell him this is NOT environmental leadership.
The Honourable Jim Prentice, Premier
307 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Phone: +1 780 427-2251
Fax: +1 780 427-1349
The Honourable Kyle Fawcett, Minister
Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
Main Floor, Great West Life Building
9920 108 Street
Edmonton, AB T5K 2M4
Phone: +1 877 944-0313
Fax: ´+1 780 427-4407
MORE on this issue at:
Provincial Caribou Recovery Plan http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201412/killing-890-wolves-learn-about-them-somethings-wrong