Without a shred of supporting scientific evidence, the Government of Ontario is proposing to open up hunting of wolves and coyotes across the north. Under the guise of moose conservation, it is proposing to allow anyone with a small game hunting license in northern Ontario to kill up to two wolves and an unlimited number of coyotes per year.
Here are seven good reasons why this proposal should not go forward.
1. The proposal lacks any scientific justification or evidence. There are no population management targets and no rationale for the proposed bag limits.
6. The government’s plan is to eliminate requirements for tags and reporting for both wolves and coyotes hunted in northern Ontario. As a result, any ability to scientifically assess the impacts of the policy and manage accordingly is seriously undermined.
7. There are many uncertainties around the causes of recent moose declines, with climate change and parasites (e.g., brain worm, winter ticks) likely implicated. But one thing is clear, changes to hunting rules and practices are having an impact. Since the 1980s, the length of the hunting season, road access, the use of all-terrain vehicles, wireless communication, calf harvesting and party hunting have all increased. During that time, the success rate of hunters has jumped significantly (from 20 – 30% to 40-50% with guns and from 5-10% to 20-30% with bows).
Why is a ministry responsible for protecting Ontario’s rich
biodiversity making it easier to kill keystone predators with less oversight? This
baseless proposal detracts from meaningful solutions to dwindling moose
Ontario Nature invites you to stand up for wolves, coyotes, moose and healthy ecosystems. Sign a letter to the government and let them know that you expect wildlife policy and management to be based on science.
Anne Bell has been directing Ontario Nature’s conservation and education programs since 2007. She loves to go birding, camping, swimming, and skiing and to play hockey with her husband and two daughters, Kestrel and Castilleja.