End wolf bounty, conservationists ask Alberta government
An international conservation group says Alberta should get rid of bounties on wolves.
Several municipalities and some private hunting groups pay the bounty, but the International Union for the Conservation of Nature says it's not an effective way to control the population.
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Carolyn Campbell of the Alberta Wilderness Association agrees, arguing the Alberta government has to find a better method.
"It should be leading the scientific management of wolves, not a bunch of private hunting groups or local municipalities that may be well-meaning but are not actually addressing the problem in a modern way."
Campbell says Alberta Fish and Wildlife's own scientists have also said bounties are not effective and the province needs a more scientific method to deal with problem wolves.
Lu Carbyn, a retired wolf biologist and a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, agrees the bounty system used in Alberta is flawed.
“It’s an archaic and old-fashioned way of managing wildlife,” he said.
“It’s a blanket approach, it’s open for abuse. There’s no way that you can control how the animals were killed, where they come from. You can be bringing in wolf carcasses from, you know, Saskatchewan and you can present them here for sale as bounties.”
Carbyn says Alberta should instead use predator control officers to specifically target wolves that are preying on livestock.
Officials in Idaho and Wyoming have had good success going after problem wolves using aerial hunting, he said.
One reason wolves are thriving in Alberta is that the deer and elk populations are also doing well, according to Carbyn.