British Columbia

B.C. considering wolf culls in new management plan

The B.C. government has released a draft plan on managing the province's grey wolf population, suggesting that hunting should continue and that culls in some areas might be necessary.
The B.C. wolf population is estimated to have increased by a small number over 20 years, but in some areas, predation is becoming a problem. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

The B.C. government has released its draft plan managing the province's grey wolf population, which calls for wolf hunting to continue and even culling the animals in some areas.

The document says B.C.'s wolf numbers are relatively stable, rising from an estimated 8,100 20 years ago to about 8,500 now.

But it also finds that in some parts of the southern Interior wolves are killing livestock and endangered mountain caribou.

The plan calls for a wolf hunt to continue, in some places with no bag limits — and in areas like the Kootenays and Cariboo, it recommends culling wolves.

"If we are to achieve our objectives on endangered species, and particularly caribou, one of the key success factors in being able to do that is ensuring the management of predator impact," said Steve Thomson, the B.C. minister responsible for wildlife.

The public has until Dec. 5 to comment on the province's draft management plan before the final plan is drafted.

The B.C. Cattlemen's Association and several First Nations groups in the Cariboo region have been asking for a provincial bounty program, saying wolves are taking an unsustainable toll on cattle and caribou populations.

With files from the CBC's Bob Keating and The Canadian Press