01/26/2015 11:47 EST | Updated 03/28/2015 05:59 EDT

Wolf cull supported by conservation group Wildsight

Kootenay-based conservation group Wildsight is backing a controversial wolf cull in the South Peace and South Selkirks that would kill 184 wolves.

"We certainly agree with the other conservation groups having a great distaste for a cull of wolves," conservation director John Bergenske told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

"However, we've run into a situation with mountain caribou in specific places."

He said in the South Selkirks the population has dropped to only 18 caribou down from 49 animals in 2009.

Other conservation groups have criticized the cull saying loss of habitat is at the root of the caribou's decline — and the government needs to protect land rather than kill the wolves.

Bergenske agreed, but said the situation for caribou has become so dire, the cull is needed.

"Until such time that there's been habitat recovery, if we don't do something to control wolf numbers, unfortunately we will lose mountain caribou."

Bergenske wants to see more enforcement for recreational users to protect caribou habitat.

"The only way a wolf cull is effective is if other actions are taking place," he said.

To hear the full interview with John Bergenske, click the audio labelled: Wildsight supports wolf cull.