Support the Managed Hunt

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Supporting the managed hunt

As the leading conservation organization in the province, with over 43,000 members, the BC Wildlife Federation is aghast at statements being made in a new campaign to ban cougar, lynx and bobcat hunting. While sensationalizing legal hunts may yield headlines, it does a disservice to conservationists who understand predator-prey relationships and undermines the science-based management of wildlife.

Like any other wildlife species, cougars and other wild-cats need to be managed using scientific information. In many circumstances, hunting is an appropriate means of managing predator numbers and ensuring a balanced predator-prey relationship.

The BCWF supports the present hunting and trapping regulations related to wild-cats as developed by the province’s wildlife biologists. Hunting and trapping of these species are highly regulated with designated seasons and bag limits. Under their conservation status, these wild-cats are ranked as secure and not at risk of extinction.

Cougar populations in British Columbia are now high enough that people in rural communities are more frequently experiencing dangerous face-to-face encounters with cougars pursuing prey animals that now reside within residential areas in an effort to avoid predators.

Photo: Nicole Smith Currie

Hunter conservationists contribute significant funds to wildlife management through license fees, which the provincial government committed in 2018 to return to wildlife management. Hunters, anglers, guides and trappers also contribute over $6 million annually to wildlife research, maintenance and enhancement through surcharge fees managed by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. These fees have been invested in conservation for the last three decades.

In contrast, the sole purpose of the wild-cat ban lobby is to end predator hunting and contributes nothing to wildlife management and habitat enhancement. Inaccurate and emotional statements in support of this proposed ban undermine science-based wildlife management.

While all members of the public are entitled to their opinion on wildlife management, facts should trump emotion. Wildlife management is complex and certainly not without controversy, but the BCWF expects our provincial wildlife biologists to manage all species of wildlife on a sustainable basis and not be influenced by theatrical statements from those who choose to ignore science-based management. 

We encourage our members to write to their MLA’s, Premier Horgan and Mr. Donaldson – Minister of FLNRORD and let them know you support the hunting and trapping regulations as set out in the Hunting and Trapping Regulation Synopsis, and in particular that you support the hunting of cougars, lynx and bobcats.

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