Apr 06, 2005
TAKE ACTION: Make sure the Ontario government keeps its promise to the wolves and to you!
We now have an opportunity to become a world leader in wolf conservation initiatives. We need your help to make this a reality!
On March 10th, Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources, David Ramsay, announced his decision to close the season for hunting and trapping wolves and coyotes from April 1st to September 14th in northern and central Ontario. *Since it is difficult to distinguish between Eastern wolves and coyotes, coyotes are included in the regulations to make it enforceable. Earthroots welcomes the new restrictions on wolf killing as Ontario has been recognized as one of the top three worst jurisdictions in the world because of its out-of-date, exploitative wolf management policies. It wasn't so long ago that the Ontario government offered a bounty to reward people who killed wolves. Until this year, wolves were killed year-round by sport hunters and trappers. Though an important first step, more work needs to be done to ensure the wolf’s future in Ontario.
How will closing the hunting and trapping season from April 1st – September 14th help wolves?
Closing the hunting and trapping season for the majority of the spring and summer season will help protect wolf pups when they are most vulnerable and dependant on the adults. However, few wolves are killed during the spring and summer as most wolf hunting and trapping occurs during the late fall and winter when the wolf’s pelt is prime.
What about bag limits and quotas?
The MNR has not yet established quotas or bag limits to restrict the number of wolves each hunter or trapper can kill. Whether for fur, sport or because they are perceived as a nuisance, any number of wolves can be killed so long as you have the appropriate licence. Until hunters and property owners are required to report all wolves killed (as trappers are currently required to do), the government has little knowledge of the impact these activities are having on wolf populations and the ecosystem they are a part of.
Is the Minister committed to improving wolf conservation in Ontario?
Minister Ramsay has done more for wolves than any other Minister before him and he deserves congratulations. However, the Minister has yet to implement key aspects of the provincial wolf conservation policy which he proposed late last year. These include:
> Developing and implementing a research and monitoring program to determine the status of wolf
populations in Ontario
> Requiring wolf and coyote hunters to purchase a special wolf game seal in addition to a small game licence
(resident hunters would pay $10 and non-resident hunters , $250 for each “wolf game seal” in
addition to requiring a small game hunting licence).
> Limiting the number of wolf game seals to two per hunter per year
Under pressure from farmers, hunters and trappers, the Minister is still considering whether or not to proceed with the above initiatives. It is now up to the public to show the Minister where the majority of Ontarians stand on this issue.
Take action today by sending a letter to the Ontario government.
Your help is needed to make sure previous commitments to wolf conservation are not abandoned. Ask the Minister to “lead the pack” in changing the way wolves are viewed and managed in Ontario. We want the Province to recognize the value of the wolf in shaping the ecosystem and maintaining biodiversity above and beyond its value as the trim on a winter coat or as a rug on someone’s floor.
Letters should be sent to both the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Natural Resources. If you don’t have time to write a letter, please consider leaving them all a simple but clear voicemail.
Hon. Dalton McGuinty,
Premier of Ontario
Rm 281, Legislative Building, Queen’s Park,
Hon. David Ramsay
Minister of Natural Resources
6630-99 Wellesley St W, 6th Floor, Whitney Block
Please also send a copy of your letter to your Member of Provincial Parliament. (MPP). Your MPP will not speak for the wolves at Queen’s Park unless his/her constituents demand them to. Politely request their response to your letter or even a meeting. Earthroots staff would be pleased to either attend or assist you in preparing for this meeting! For your MPP’s contact information, visit: http://olaap.ontla.on.ca/mpp/contact.jsp
Nov 25, 2004
Ontario has a historic opportunity to become a leader in wolf conservation. Please participate in this important public comment period
On November 25th 2004, the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources, David Ramsay announced his proposal for a province-wide wolf conservation strategy. The Minister is proposing to restrict the season for hunting and trapping wolves and establish limits on the number of wolves that can be hunted annually.
Under the new plan, resident hunters would have to pay $10 and non-resident hunters, $250 for each 'wolf game seal' in addition to requiring a small game hunting licence. The hunting and trapping season for wolves would be closed from April 1st to September 14th to protect wolves during the pup rearing season. Hunters would not be permitted to kill more than 2 wolves each. The Minister plans to make it mandatory to report wolves killed by hunters and has committed his Ministry to study wolf populations and harvest reports to assess the need for further conservation measures in 2006. *Since it is difficult to distinguish between Eastern wolves and coyotes, coyotes are included in the regulations to make the regulations enforceable.
Ontario has been recognized as one of the top three worst jurisdictions in the world because of its out-of-date, exploitative wolf management policies. It wasn't so long ago that the Ontario government offered a bounty to reward people who killed wolves. This latest announcement is the result of more than 4 years of steadfast campaigning and the overwhelming support from concerned individuals like you. We now have an opportunity to become a world leader in wolf conservation initiatives and change the way wolves are viewed and managed in Ontario. We need your help to make this a reality!
TAKE ACTION - Please lend your voice to wolves by participating in this very important public comment period! The Minister has followed through on his commitment to improve wolf conservation. It is now up to the public to submit comments on the proposed plan and ensure that Ontario becomes a leader in wolf protection.
The proposals are posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Registry at for a 40 day comment period. January 4th 2005 is the last day to submit your letters.
To view the Ministry's proposed provincial wolf strategy, visit: http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/envregistry/023658ep.htm
To view the Ministry's proposal to restrict the hunting and trapping season for wolves and implement limits, visit: http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/envregistry/023668er.htm
Send a fax to the Minister of Natural Resources using the WildCanada.net Action Centre http://www.canadianwolves.net/ontario. It takes just a few minutes of your time.
Personalized letters carry more weight. Send your letters to:
MNR Fish and Wildlife Branch
5th Floor, North Tower,
300 Water Street
FAX: (705) 755-1900
* Remember to include EBR Registry Numbers RB04E6012 and PB04E6020 at the top of your letter to ensure your comments are official recorded.
Copies can also be sent to the Premier of Ontario and your MPP:
Rm 281, Legislative Building,
For your MPP's contact information, visit:
Here are some points to consider when writing your letter:
Please thank the Ministry of Natural Resources for taking measures to improve the conservation of wolves in Ontario. The new regulatory improvements are a good first step and will hopefully eliminate the senseless killing of wolves by those who still view these animals as vermin. Requiring mandatory reporting of all wolves killed and including coyotes in the regulations are important, sensible measures to improve wolf conservation.
Concerns about the proposal:
> still allows hunting and trapping of the Eastern wolf, a species at risk;
> allocates two seals per hunter and no limits per trapper regardless of the size or demographic health of the local or provincial wolf population;
> allows wolf and coyote hunting and trapping in parks and conservation reserves;
> allows wolf and coyote hunting and trapping most of the year; including during mating and gestation period;
> still allows wolf and coyote hunting and trapping all year in Eastern Ontario and the Frontenac Axis, an important area for the recovery of the Eastern wolf;
Despite the proposed regulations, wolves will still not be protected on 97% of their range in the province because only a few parks are off limits to hunters and trappers and large enough to sustain a viable wolf population. Keeping critical wolf habitat areas free of exploitation is necessary if we want true wilderness in Ontario.
The following recommendations will strengthen the plan:
> Make conservation the overriding objective of the plan, recognizing the role of wolves as a keystone species, integral to biodiversity preservation and natural ecosystem functions.
> Expand protected areas and establish wildlife corridors to ensure more wolf habitat is protected to sustain viable wolf populations. This would be an important first step in fulfilling Ontario's commitment to biodiversity preservation.
> Ban the use of wire snares, a non-selective and cruel device used for trapping wolves.
> Manage parks with the objective of ensuring the long-term viability of wolf populations by immediately banning the hunting and trapping of wolves in all Parks and Conservation Reserves and creating buffer zones to decrease the impacts of human activities on the protected population. This would be a good first step towards fulfilling Ontario's commitment to preserving the ecological integrity of our parks as the government is currently reviewing measures to strengthen Ontario's protected areas legislation.
> Continue to compensate farmers for livestock losses due to wild predators but ensure that preventative non-lethal control measures were employed.
Nov 20, 2004
Mobilize Your Community!
The goals of the Wolves Ontario! project are the following:
> to raise public awareness of the current situation of Ontario wolf populations
> to actively engage the public in the campaign
> to make the Ontario government change current policies governing wolves and wolf hunting in the province.
Through public advocacy, we hope to achieve meaningful legislative protection for wolves and their habitat.
In order to achieve this protection, we are encouraging local community action which is essential to achieving legitimate wolf protection in Ontario. Community coordinators are needed to distribute information about the Wolves Ontario! project, organize local letter-writing campaigns, and educate their friends and neighbours and about the dire situation that wolves face in Ontario.
If you are interested in helping us with this campaign, we will provide you with Wolves Ontario! factsheets, postcards, action alerts and sample 'letters to the editor' and advice that you can use to mobilize your community for the wolves. Information can be handed out to friends, family and colleagues, and dropped off at library and community centers.
See http://www.wolvesontario.org/wolves/action/kit.html for more information and to request a kit online. Alternatively you can email us at email@example.com or phone us at: 416-599-0152 x20.
Thanks for your support; we hope to hear from you soon.
May 04, 2004
Pukaskwa National Park wolves threatened by new logging road
An Environmental Assessment of Road 770 is urgently needed to protect wolves and caribou.
A proposed logging road to be built by forestry giant Domtar Inc. in the White River Forest threatens Pukaskwa National Park's wolf population. The road will cut through an extensive wilderness corridor along the park's northern boundary and will intersect the territories of four wolf packs and an important Woodland Caribou Recovery zone. Nearly half of the park's wolf population will be threatened by this road. Caribou, a provincially threatened species and wolves depend on large tracts of contiguous roadless wilderness to survive.
Along with increased traffic of logging trucks, this road will open up previously remote wilderness to hunters, trappers, snowmobilers and ATV users. Parks Canada authorities and researchers believe that the road poses a significant threat to Pukaskwa's wolf population and the ecological integrity of the Park, and have requested the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) to effectively prohibit public access with gates and physical barriers. The OMNR has refused to implement even these minimum access control measures.
The Pukaskwa wolves are a unique population because they are a genetically isolated enclave of Gray wolves within Eastern Canadian wolf range. Research has shown that the park’s wolf population has been in decline and that 47% of wolf mortality can be attributed to human activities. This is comparable to the experienced population declines in Algonquin Provincial Park. In the absence of any laws to limit the number of wolves that can be shot or snared each year, Road 770 puts Pukaskwa wolves in a perilous position. A loss of wolves in the region may fundamentally and forever change the ecosystem. Pukaskwa is the only National Park that exists within the wolf's Ontario range and it is one of the few protected areas that is large enough to protect mammals with vast territories. If we cannot protect wolves in our parks, where can we protect the wolves?
Write a personal letter asking the Ontario Government to prohibit the construction of road 770 until this project undergoes a full individual environmental assessment.
Please lend a voice to Pukaskwa wolves and Caribou:
1. Write a personal letter to the Minister of Environment to show your support for an individual environmental assessment of Road 770.
Honourable Leona Dombrowsky,
Minister of Environment
135 St. Clair Ave W, 12th Floor
Toronto ON M4V 1P5
2. Write a personal letter to the Minister of Natural Resources who has committed to improving wolf and biodiversity conservation in Ontario. Remind the Minister that any wolf conservation plan should ensure that wolf populations are sustained across the province and that important wolf habitat is protected. It is therefore imperative that the Minister supports an individual environmental assessment of Road 770 to show his commitment to protect the long-term viability of wolf populations in both Provincial and National Parks.
Honourable David Ramsay,
Minister of Natural Resources
6630-99 Wellesley St W, 6th Floor, Whitney Block
Toronto ON M7A 1W3
Feb 03, 2004
Stop the Snaring of Wolves in Ontario!
Of the 707 Ontario wolves killed in 1995 for the commercial sale of their pelts, 93% were caught in neck snares.
The snare is a simple noose made of aircraft-grade steel cable. It is designed to tighten as the animal pulls against it; a metal catch prevents it from loosening. The animal dies through strangulation. Snares frequently have to be replaced after a capture; bent out of shape by the animals that struggled to escape.
> Wolves can be snared in the fall and winter throughout their range, except in and around Algonquin Provincial Park. New regulations are expected soon to close the season for trapping wolves from April 1st to September 15th. There are no limits to how many wolves can be killed in this way.
> Since snares are quick and cheap to make, trappers often set many in one given area. A set of snares located around a piece of bait or a chemical lure can effectively trap an entire wolf pack. The technique is known as 'saturation snaring'.
> Snares are not selective trapping devices. For every wolf caught in a snare, it is expected that at least one other animal had been caught accidentally. 35 moose, 14 caribou, 26 red foxes, 10 coyotes, 4 golden eagles, 2 grizzly bears and 3 wolverines were unintentionally caught in snares set for Alaskan wolves during a two-year wolf control program.
> Snares kill endangered species. Snares are durable, difficult to find, remain in place for years and will potentially harm any animal that comes across it first, including endangered species and dogs. Accidental snaring was a major factor contributing to the endangerment of the Newfoundland Pine Martin.
> Since most snares are homemade, there are no manufacturing standards to meet.
Though there are snare bans in place in 15 American states and the United Kingdom, snares are the number one killer of wolves in Ontario!
Please write letters to Minister of Natural Resources, David Ramsay and Wildlife Section Manager, Deborah Stetson and demand an immediate end to wolf snaring!
Many other jurisdictions throughout the world have found the indiscriminate nature of snaring unacceptable. It is time for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to keep up to date with changing attitudes towards wildlife.
PLEASE WRITE TO:
Hon. David Ramsay
Room 6630 Whitney Block
99 Wellesley St. West
FAX: (416) 314-2216
Deborah K. Stetson
Manager, Wildlife Section
OMNR Fish and Wildlife Branch
7000 Water Street, 5th Floor,
P.O. Box 7000
FAX: (705) 755-1900
Consider sending a copy of your letter to your Member of Provincial Parliament. To find out your Member's mailing address, phone Elections Ontario 1-888-668-8683. Please also send a copy of your letter to Earthroots.