In September of 2010, the Municipal District of Big Lakes, Alberta council made the decision to place a bounty on the wolf. Alberta taxpayers’ dollars are contributing to this immoral and fallacious killing. This offers NO long-term solution to people concerned about their livestock losses.
Why?: Because not all of these wolves have killed livestock, and many likely never would have. Wolves in Alberta have caused less than 1% of livestock deaths.
The majority of livestock deaths are caused by:
Respiratory issues 26%
Digestive problems 13%
Transportation, poisonous plants other predators (coyotes, bears, cougars) 37%
Controlling wolf populations creates another problem which in hand increases prey populations, which affects the crop-producing taxpayers.
Since this bounty began, 290 wolves have been killed and turned in at $300 a pelt. 290 x $300 = $87 000 of Alberta taxpayers money given out. Alberta has an amount of $65 100 to go towards another 217 wolf pelts. That money should go to local ranchers to help prevent further predation on livestock, NOT towards the needless killing of this species. Implementing husbandry practices such as electric fencing, fladry, audio-boxes, range-riders, guard dogs, seminars, pamphlets, and proper removal of dead stockpiles is what NEEDS to be done.
Sept – Dec 2010: $8400 = 28 wolves
Jan – Dec 2011: $39 900 = 133 wolves
Jan – present 2012: $38 700 = 129 wolves
Total $87 000 = 290 wolves
Unfortunately, killing off wolves will make things worse. It creates a NEGATIVE effect in the environment. The absence of the wolf from an environment causes a cascade of changes. Leaving an unhealthy and unbalanced environment.
The ecological role of wolves as top predators and keystone species means they HELP maintain biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.
A perfect scenario is Yellowstone National Park. In the late 1920s the last wolf was shot, killed and removed out of the park. Elk over-browsed the willow trees and shrubs. This caused a destructive domino effect of tragedy. Birds, beavers, and other small mammals either died within the park or left the park. Fish populations lowered due to more shallower and broader streams. The coyote population grew in over-abundance. They killed elk calves and preyed on small mammals, which in turn left no food for other species such as birds of prey, and badgers. This same scenario has happened and is happening in Banff National Park.
In the Big Lakes area canola and wheat crop producing taxpayers are not pleased with the wolf bounty because the ungulates are feeding on their crops. Wolves control the population of ungulates and are opportunistic hunters they take out the sick, old and the weak. This was proven in the study of ecology in Yellowstone National Park.
Will the bounty work?
NO! Because decades of research show that bounties are NOT EFFECTIVE in the long term for reducing livestock losses to predators, so wolves are being KILLED needlessly.
The Municipal District of Big Lakes will be holding the next meeting in High Prairie, Alberta on October 15th, 2012.
What you can do to help STOP the killing of the wolves, help educate the local ranchers and help protect their livestock is sign this petition and share this with others.
Thank you for your help in protecting this important magnificent species.