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More wolves could mean more wolf encounters with people

The new management plan for B.C.'s grey wolf says the population is stable or on the rise throughout the province.
Image Credit: Dr. Gerry Kuzyk
April 22, 2014 - 4:05 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – The grey wolf population in the region is on the rise and so are the number of wolf encounters with livestock, pets and humans.

A new wolf management plan has just been released by the provincial government. The first update of the plan since 1979.

There are roughly 8,500 wolves in the province compared with a count of 8,100 in 1991 and they aren’t considered an at-risk species, according to a media release from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

Reports of wolf encounters are were up near 20 per cent in 2013 in B.C.

Most involve livestock, but in a case last fall in Merritt, Michelle Prosser’s two dogs intervened when she was being hunted by a pack of wolves on a forestry road near Merritt. Only one of the dogs survived.

The new wolf management plan is aimed at making sure the animals continue to serve their role as one of the top predators in the ecosystem. Hunting and trapping will be allowed, but with specific seasons and bag limits, the release said.

"As one of B.C.’s top carnivores, wolves play an important role in structuring predator–prey systems, but they are also a threat to livestock and, in very rare cases, to human safety. The species attracts a highly polarized debate between those who see the wolves as emblematic of B.C.’s wilderness heritage and those who see them as a threat to game species and livestock." 

- Management Plan for the Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) in British Columbia

To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at halexander@infotelnews.ca or call 250-491-0331. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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