|Photo: Steve Dunsford of Impressions of Algonquin|
Last month, as the trophy hunting and trapping seasons opened, the Ontario government announced its decision to strip the Algonquin wolf (eastern wolf), recently classified as threatened with extinction, of the legal protection provided by the provincial Endangered Species Act (ESA). Although the law forbids killing threatened species, the government is making an exception to allow hunting and trapping of Algonquin wolves throughout the majority of their range. In making this exemption, Ontario is ignoring science and public concern - the majority of the 17,301 comments submitted in response to the Ontario's proposals opposed this change in regulation.
A mere 154 adult wolves are left in Ontario.
"The primary threats facing these animals are hunting and trapping. Only in dreamland can a species avoid extinction while being relentlessly exposed to the very threats that landed it on the at-risk list to begin with," stated Hannah Barron, director of Wildlife Conservation Campaigns for Ontario's Earthroots. "Instead of being mired in old-school thinking driven by folklore, we need to start listening to the science that tells us to act fast if we want to protect the web of life that is unraveling before our eyes."
“By allowing hunters and trappers to kill Algonquin wolves across the majority of their extent of occurrence, Ontario’s message to the American people and their own constituents is that species-at-risk recovery is not a priority,” stated Maggie Howell, director of the Wolf Conservation Center. “This decision is in direct contravention to its ministry’s mandate.”
Today is the last day to submit comments re: Algonquin wolves to the Canadian government. Please follow the link below to urge Canada to protect Algonquin wolves at the federal level.