The BCWF is encouraging members to take the 5-minute Engage BC Survey on Predator Reduction to support caribou recovery.
The Province of British Columbia is seeking input from stakeholders, interest groups and citizens of B.C. for continued predator reduction to support the recovery of woodland caribou. Your input will help inform the government’s decision-making process. The government survey will be open until November 15 at 4pm.
On behalf of the B.C. Wildlife Federation (BCWF), Region 7B President and Wildlife Committee Chair, Gerry Paille, has written to the Government of B.C. thanking them for the opportunity to comment on the proposed five-year extension of the predator reduction program in support of woodland caribou recovery in B.C.
The BCWF applauds current and past provincial governments for supporting multiple years of predator removal in support of caribou recovery for well-established reasons.
Evidence of the positive impact of predator reduction programs on caribou recovery is convincing, as noted in the background material supporting the public engagement process. The popular media tend to focus on the positive effects of maternal penning, habitat protection and restoration, supplemental feeding, restricting recreational access, and reducing or eliminating hunting opportunities. However, without predator reductions, many of these treatments may be insufficient to sustain, let alone increase, caribou populations.
Predator reduction is often referred to as a “stop-gap” or “short-term” measure in caribou recovery. Unfortunately, while resource extraction, mostly through logging and oil and gas exploration and extraction, continues within caribou habitat, predator reduction necessarily becomes a long-term measure. Habitat restoration and recovery are long-term processes and occur too slowly to make a much-needed immediate positive impact on threatened or endangered caribou herds.
The B.C. Wildlife Federation understands that there are socio-economic impacts of habitat protection, restoration and recovery, and encourages the provincial government to conduct associated studies incorporating the best available ecological and economic science and find a solution that benefits declining caribou herds while being sensitive to the needs of B.C.’s economy. In the mean time, predator reduction needs to continue for those caribou herds in most jeopardy. Climate change only adds to the urgency for continuing with predator removal while waiting for the benefits of long-term actions.
The BCWF addresses the questions from Engage BC Website Survey on Predator Reduction below. Please take 5-minutes of your time to provide the government your valuable feedback.
For all BCWF members, a more detailed article on the recent letter to the government and recommendations for caribou recovery strategy will in the January/February 2022 BCWF members’ insert of the BC Outdoors Magazine.
B.C. Wildlife Federation’s Responses to Survey Questions
- What do you consider to be the three greatest causes of this population decline? Pick three.
- Damage to caribou habitats from natural resource extraction activities (e.g., forestry/logging/mining/hydro electric)
- Climate change
- How important is the recovery of caribou in B.C. to you?
- Very important
- Why is caribou recovery important to you?
- All species at risk should be recovered in B.C.
- Current hunting opportunity
- Future hunting opportunity
- Indigenous cultural significance
- Intrinsic value
- Protection of wildlife or biodiversity
- Food security
- Do you agree predator reduction is a necessary action for caribou recovery?
- Strongly agree
- Are there any herds that you feel should be added to or removed from predator reduction for caribou recovery?
- Continue with predator reduction for the herds where the program has occurred and add Chase, Wolverine, and the western portions of Klinse-Za and Kennedy Siding.
- What other caribou recovery actions do you feel are important to implement? (Answers in order for the short-term priority)
- Predator reduction
- Habitat management-beneficial management practices for recreation and industry
- Maternal penning
- Habitat protection (regulating land use)
- Habitat restoration
- Management of motorized winter recreation (snowmobile and cat/heli-skiing, etc)
- Conservation breeding
- Translocation of caribou from one herd area to another
- From what sources (if any) have you learned about predator reduction for caribou recovery?
- Conservation groups, societies, or similar
- News stories
- Scientific reports
- Government reports/ websites
- Social Media
Please consider giving the gift of membership to support the BCWF in striving to ensure the sound long-term management of B.C.’s fish, wildlife, and outdoor recreational resources in the best interests of all British Columbians.