“The senseless trophy killing of Staqeya (Takaya), the iconic ‘lone wolf’ made famous by his stay on Discovery Island, once again brings to the fore the full-spectrum persecution of Canis lupus in British Columbia,” said Chris Genovali, executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
BC’s wolves are killed through a variety of means, most of which are gratuitous, inhumane and unethical. These include legal hunting and trapping, as well as government sanctioned culling, the latter using such techniques as aerial gunning and neck snares.
In British Columbia, the locus of wolf maltreatment in Canada, the province estimates that some 1,200 wolves are killed on an annual basis for recreational purposes. Raincoast senior scientist and large carnivore expert Dr. Paul Paquet surmises that number is likely even higher given BC’s lax reporting requirements and lack of conservation enforcement capability.
BC’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, the entity responsible for “wolf management,” admits that “much of the information the province’s wildlife managers obtain regarding wolf populations is anecdotal, with a reliance on public sightings and observations.”
“Wildlife management policy that permits activity that is so misaligned with commonly held values requires immediate attention by provincial authorities,” said Dr. Chris Darimont, Raincoast science director and Raincoast Chair at the University of Victoria Applied Conservation Science Lab.