For Immediate Release: April 16, 2015
Sidney, British Columbia – Raincoast Conservation Foundation has launched a billboard campaign calling attention to the inhumane slaughter of wolves that is occurring at the hands of the B.C. government. The B.C. government plans to kill close to 200 wolves by means of aerial gunning in the South Selkirk and South Peace regions of the province to ostensibly “save caribou.” This unscientific and unethical wolf cull is a consequence of industrial logging and other human activity which have transformed the caribou’s habitat into a landscape that can no longer provide the food, cover, and security these animals need to survive.
“Rather than address the real problem, i.e., the destruction of life sustaining caribou habitat, the B.C. government has chosen to scapegoat wolves. The aim of our billboard campaign is to bring attention to that fact,” said Raincoast executive director Chris Genovali. “We hope this first wolf cull billboard on the Pat Bay Highway near Victoria will generate enough support from the public that we can spread the message to multiple locations.”
Brad Hill, a biologist and professional photographer, provided the wolf image on the billboard. Hill, who has been an outspoken opponent of the B.C. wolf cull said, “Everyone wants to save endangered or threatened mountain caribou populations, but killing wolves for a few years – or even decades – won’t save the caribou. All mountain caribou in B.C. exist in multi-predator ecosystems and the best science has told us that wolves invariably account for a minority of the total predation. Killing wolves to save caribou makes no sense in the long- or short-term. The wolf cull is little more than a transparent attempt by the government to appear to be doing something to save caribou, while avoiding the true heavy-lifting needed to adequately protect and restore caribou habitat.”
“Wolves are scapegoated for the decline of caribou in a morally and scientifically bankrupt attempt to protect Canada’s industrial sacred cows: oil and gas, mining, and forestry. The relentless destruction of forest wilderness via industrial development has conspired to deprive caribou of their life requisites, while exposing them to levels of wolf predation they did not evolve with and are incapable of adapting to,” said Raincoast senior scientist and large carnivore expert Dr. Paul Paquet. “Yet, governments habitually favour the destruction of wolves over any consequential protection, enhancement, or restoration of caribou habitat. As a result, caribou are on a long-term slide to extinction; not because of what wolves and other predators are doing but because of what humans have already done.”
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