First Nations in Northern Canada have relied on caribou for millennia, for food, clothing and more. They've followed, observed and hunted the animals. They've seen changes in habits and populations as their territories face increasing development pressures. They've handed down knowledge through generations.
Predation is an important natural function. But as the human population has grown, we've taken over management of ecosystems once based on mutually beneficial relationships that maintained natural balances. How are we, a "super predator," aligning with or diverging from natural predation processes that shaped the world?
Federal assessments show high levels of oil, gas and forestry activity mean no boreal Caribou herd in Alberta is likely to survive without significant changes in habitat management. In 2011, the range of the Little Smoky herd was assessed as being 95 per cent disturbed by industrial activity, and oil, gas and forestry have since caused further damage.
Industrial activity has profoundly affected the Blueberry River First Nations in northern B.C. In much of the territory, which once supported healthy moose and caribou populations, it's difficult if not impossible to walk half a kilometre before hitting a road, seismic line or other industrial infrastructure.
Without the forest and the economic activity it generates, the North Shore, the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and all the other forest regions of Quebec would not have experienced the same level of economic development that has benefited all Quebecers. However, forestry activity could fall sharply in the fairly near future.
We need to protect as much land as possible from all human activities so remaining wildlife populations have the space and resources needed to respond to predation and food supply challenges. The cost of restricting industrial development in B.C.'s forests would be expensive in terms of lost revenue, but it would save us having to micromanage every dwindling species.
The government of Nunavut adjusted the January 1, 2015 moratorium on caribou hunting on Baffin Island to allow for a hunt of 250 male caribou. WWF does not support this adjustment and is urging the government to consider a precautionary approach to caribou management on Baffin Island until numbers recover enough to allow for a sustainable harvest.
Grey wolves in Alberta are exposed to lethal threats from every angle, including aerial gunning from helicopters, choking neck-snares, and poison-baits that lure wolves and many other species to their excruciating deaths. Alberta's liberal hunting and trapping regulations assure that the devastation of wolf families occurs nearly year-round.
This 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.