Category Archives: Media Release


Ontario makes controversial decision to allow rare wolf kill

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Majority of 17,301 public comments opposed to hunting and trapping threatened Algonquin wolves

MONTREAL (September 19, 2016) – Last week, as the hunting and trapping seasons opened, the Ontario government announced its decision to strip at-risk Algonquin wolves of protection from hunters and trappers across the majority of their range. Ongoing hunting and trapping, the primary threats to the species, caused the wolves’ at-risk status to deteriorate to Threatened on June 15th 2016. A mere 154 adult wolves are left in Ontario. Conservation and animal rights groups from across North America are condemning the decision.

Ontario claims their decision is justified due to the inability of hunters and trappers to differentiate between coyotes and Algonquin wolves. Without genetically testing each animal killed, the government cannot track how many Algonquin wolves are killed. There is no limit on the number of wolves that can be trapped and hunting bag limits are absent in some parts of the wolf’s habitat.

Hunting and trapping were banned in the townships surrounding Algonquin Provincial Park in 2001 due to overwhelming public concern for the park wolves. This year, public concern has been ignored – the majority of the 17,301 comments submitted in response to the proposals opposed the regulation changes.

“The Ontario government is peddling their decision as improved protection for the wolves because they have closed hunting and trapping in three additional areas bordering provincial parks,” said Hannah Barron, director of wildlife conservation, Earthroots. “However, these new closures are too small to protect Algonquin wolf packs, let alone individual animals capable of traveling hundreds of kilometres in their lifetime. Any wolf outside of these closures can be killed.”

“Allowing these rare wolves to be killed is not only inhumane and shameful, it can have unintended consequences for farmers and the animals in their care. A growing body of research shows that hunting and trapping can increase future livestock depredation by causing social chaos amongst wolf and coyote populations,” noted Gabriel Wildgen, campaign manager for Humane Society International/Canada.

“If the government was actually serious about protecting farmers’ livelihoods, they would subsidize non-lethal strategies to prevent depredation in the first place. This decision not only endangers a threatened wolf species, it also fails the farming community.” remarked Lesley Sampson, executive director of Coyote Watch Canada.

“By allowing hunters and trappers to kill Algonquin wolves across the majority of their extent of occurrence, Ontario’s message to the American people and their own constituents is that species-at-risk recovery is not a priority,” stated Maggie Howell, director of the Wolf Conservation Center in New York. “This decision is in direct contravention to its ministry’s mandate.”

Photos of Algonquin wolves available upon request.


Media contacts:


Hannah Barron, Director of Wildlife Conservation Campaigns, Earthroots (647) 567-8337

Christopher Paré – office: 514 395-2914 x 206, cell: 438 402-0643,

Ontario limits the number of wolves that can be killed for sport

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Earthroots says Minister Ramsay is leading the pack in the right direction

(Toronto) Earthroots congratulates Minister of Natural Resources, David Ramsay, who today announced his decision to improve the conservation of wolves across the province. The Minister will regulate the recreational hunting of wolves by limiting the number each properly licensed hunter can shoot to two per year. Effective September 15th, hunters who want to shoot wolves, must now purchase a special wolf seal. Ontario hunters will have to pay $10 for the seal but non-residents will have to pay $250. Earthroots hopes this will lead to an end to sport hunting wolves; an activity that Americans are predominantly participating in. The Minister is also making it mandatory to report all wolves killed regardless of the method and reason.

“The days of managing the Big Bad Wolf are finally coming to an end,” says Melissa Tkachyk, Earthroots’ Wolves Ontario! Coordinator. “These new regulations will enable the government to better assess how many Eastern or Gray wolves are killed each year for sport or to protect livestock and the impact this is having within the ecosystem.”

Earthroots welcomes the new regulatory improvements calling today’s decision a good first step but says more work still needs to be done to protect wolves and their habitat. Wolves are only protected on 3% of their range in the province, while 97% is still open to hunting and trapping. Only a few parks are off-limits to hunters and trappers and large enough to sustain a viable wolf population.

“There is clearly an imbalance between the percentage of the province where wolves are managed as game and the few protected areas, off-limits to traps and bullets where wolves can just be wolves,” says Tkachyk. “Keeping critical wolf habitat areas free of exploitation is necessary if we want true wilderness in Ontario.”

Ontario had long been recognized as one of the worst jurisdictions in the world for its exploitative wolf management policies. Up until this year, wolves were treated as vermin and could be killed 365 days of the year without any limitations. This is the first time in the history of Ontario, that there are restrictions on killing wolves across the majority of their provincial range.

There is still no limit on the number of wolves each trapper can kill. Earthroots says between 500-600 wolves are trapped every year for the commercial sale of their pelts. The majority of wolves are caught in strangling neck snares, which Earthroots calls ‘a cruel and non-selective’ trap. 

Permanent Protection Granted for Algonquin’s Wolves

By | Media Release | One Comment

Earthroots congratulates Minister of Natural Resources, David Ramsay who permanently banned the hunting and of wolves and coyotes in the 30 townships surrounding Algonquin Provincial Park on May 3, 2004.

Protection measures for the wolves of Algonquin Provincial Park include:

  • A permanent ban on the hunting and trapping of wolves and coyotes year-round in the 39 townships surrounding Algonquin Provincial Park. (The inclusion of coyotes in the regulation is essential to ensure the wolf killing prohibition is enforced. This measure reduces the likelihood of accidental wolf kills as it is difficult to distinguish between an eastern wolf, a coyote and a hybrid of the two).
  • A ban on the chasing of wolves or coyotes with dogs, both in the park and in townships surrounding the park
  • Adding the eastern wolf to the new list of Species at Risk in Ontario as a Species of Special Concern, which is consistent with its national designation given by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC)
  • The continuation of wolf research and monitoring to ensure the sustainability of the wolves in and around Algonquin Park
  • The developement of a provincial wolf management strategy

*Landowners are still permitted to harass, capture or kill wolves or coyotes in protection of their property and farm animals. 

Moratorium on canid harvest to protect eastern wolves around Algonquin Provincial Park

By | Media Release, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

(Toronto) Today Minister of Natural Resources announced a 30-month moratorium on the hunting and trapping of wolves in the 39 townships immediately surrounding Algonquin Provincial Park.

In 1998, Minister Snobelen appointed the Algonquin Wolf Advisory Group (AWAG) to recommend a long term Adaptive Management Plan for the wolves with the goal of reducing human-caused wolf mortality. On January 15th 2001, the committee’s recommendations were posted to the electronic Environmental Bill of Rights registry for a two-month public comment period. The central and most contested feature of the report was the suggestion to merely limit the hunting and trapping season in 37 townships surrounding the park. A full year round closure on hunting and trapping wolves was only recommended for 4 of the 37 townships. These townships: Finlayson, McClintock, Livingstone and Airy border the south gate of the park. Killing the wolves within these townships would affect the success of the popular public wolf howl. 

Dr. John Theberge is critical of this short-term decision – “The timeframe for the ban, limited to 2 ‡ years, is still not long enough. It is not long enough for a significant population recovery; ultimately a permanent ban must be implemented.” 

Canada’s eastern wolf population at risk

By | Media Release, Uncategorized | One Comment

Eastern wolves listed as a Species of Special Concern at the Federal level

(Toronto) On May 3rd, 2001 the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) listed the Eastern wolf as a Species of Special Concern because of characteristics that make it particularly sensitive to human activity or natural events. COSEWIC is a National Committee with representatives from the federal and provincial governments, private agencies and individual experts.