Heavily hunted wolves more stressed, study says

SARAH PETRESCU / TIMES COLONIST

NOVEMBER 12, 2014

Wolves in areas of Canada where they are heavily hunted experience higher levels of stress and reproductive hormones — which could change their evolution — suggests new research from the Sidney-based Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

“Wolves are highly social, like people. What we’re seeing is a disruption to wolf populations in heavily hunted areas beyond just numbers,” said Paul Paquet, a senior scientist with Raincoast and adjunct professor at the University of Victoria. The study is published in the scientific journal Functional Ecology.

The foundation notes wolves in many parts of the country are viewed as threats to livestock and game species, making them subject to poorly managed cull programs that can see up to 50 per cent of a population killed in a year and 90 per cent in some cases…

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Coastal wolf with a salmon in its month.
Photo by Dene Rossouw.