Stqéyəʔ, the lone grey wolf, spent years living on an island near Victoria, BC. On leaving the island, he was relocated and shortly after, shot dead. The reason: simply because someone legally could, for recreation and a trophy. This remains the sad reality for BC’s wolves and it is something we are committed to changing.
In BC, the provincial government estimates that some 1,200 wolves are killed on an annual basis for recreational purposes. Hundreds more are killed by government sanctioned culls to ostensibly protect caribou and livestock; both actions are ineffective and unethical. Raincoast large carnivore expert Paul Paquet suspects the aforementioned annual mortality number is likely higher given BC’s weak reporting requirements and inadequate conservation enforcement capability.
In July 2020, a peer-reviewed study, co-authored by Raincoast’s Chris Darimont, was published indicating that research used to rationalize lethal wolf control as a recovery measure for endangered mountain caribou had critical statistical flaws. Research remains a key element in our effort to protect wolves. With a new provincial government in place, 2021 will see us working toward implementation of provincial policy that respects the welfare of wolves and their ecological role.
To fulfil our investigate, inform, and inspire mandate, we also launched our very first Wolf School in 2020 in partnership with the US based Wolf Conservation Center. Over 2,000 people from around the world tuned in. We are planning a new spring term in 2021. Wolf School is dedicated to the memory of our friend Chester Starr.