Vancouver Island Wolf and Cougar Cull
Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia
Raincoast Conservation Society and Sierra Club of BC
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The petition of the undersigned, residents of the Province of British Columbia, states that:
Whereas it is estimated that Vancouver Islands cougar population has dropped by 50 per cent in the last five to ten years with an estimated 300400 individuals remaining, AND the Islands wolf population has also dropped by 50 per cent in the last 20 years with an estimated 150 wolves remaining;
Whereas these dramatic declines are linked to a decline in black-tailed deer which is the primary prey base of both wolves and cougars;
Whereas the best available scientific evidence suggests the most significant threat to viable wolf populations in the Pacific Northwest is clearcut logging and loss of ancient forest habitat, which is thought to reduce the forests long-term carrying capacity for deer; and whereas nearly 75 per cent of the Islands productive ancient forests have been logged, primarily by clearcutting, in the last 150 years;
Whereas Vancouver Islands remaining ancient forests, found largely in draft Forest Ecosystem Network reserves (forested links within logged landscapes); draft Ungulate Winter Range reserves; and intact valleys such as East Creek, Schoen Creek, the upper Walbran, and Clayoquot Sound, continue to be approved for logging by the provincial government; and
Whereas the effectiveness of predator culls and/or contraception as strategies for restoring prey populations remains unproven;
Your petitioners respectfully request that the Government reject any proposal for the culling or contraception of wolves and cougars on Vancouver Island, and instead, immediately implement a change in forest policy to restore viable deer, wolf and cougar populations on Vancouver Island by both protecting remaining old growth habitats, and restoring old growth structures to uniform second growth stands.
Dated 27th day of September, 2002.