Filed under: Conservation, Wolf Conservation, Wolves of the Rockies | Tags: canadian wolves, endangered species
A letter to the editor of the Golden Star a few weeks ago suggested that wolves need no protection. Well – it’s true they are not considered “endangered” in Canada. It took a while for the rebuttal to form in our collective brain… but here is what we think.
People either love wolves or hate them. They ignite our passion. They spark our imagination. Wolves are an icon of the wilderness – and maybe we can use that status to help endangered species in this country.
You can certainly argue that they don’t need protection… especially in Canada, where we have a “healthy” population, and one of the largest intact wolf populations in the world.
But we argue that they do need protection! We believe that if we keep wolf numbers healthy, they can help us keep everything healthy, including ourselves. Healthy ecosystems are essential to healthy human societies and economies. This is a guiding principal from the Protect Biodiversity website (www.protectbiodiversity.ca), and it should be everyone’s guiding principle for the way to live your life.
Here is the basis for our argument: Imagine the wolf as an umbrella. They are a large predator who sits at the very top of our food chain. When something happens at the top, there is a cascade effect that influences every level of the food chain, right down to the insects and plants… basically, everything under the umbrella.
Consider these things: Wolves live in packs. They hunt all year long in order to feed their big families. They often take the weak and sick, and leave behind the strong and healthy. They feed others, because there are often lots of leftovers from their feasts. They control the numbers of their prey, so huge population explosions don’t happen, and that means there is enough food energy to go around (that’s the “carrying capacity” of the land).
Badgers are “endangered” in British Columbia. Who cares about the badger? They’re a pest, right?
Blue herons are considered “vulnerable”. But they’re majestic, beautiful, and don’t dig holes in farmers’ fields. So… some people may take notice…
But many more people take notice when you say “wolf”. Both sides of the argument come to life. That’s the beauty of it!
We want to ignite your passion! So whether you love ’em or hate ’em, we do need to talk about them. Our argument is that by protecting wolves, we can protect the others… we can, in fact, protect the whole ecosystem. Healthy humans on a healthy planet!
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