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Forget Wolf Culls: Researcher Says More Moose and Deer Hunting Would Help B.C. Caribou

posted Oct 23, 2017, 2:52 PM by chloe owens

8/31/17, by Liam Britten, CBC News British Columbia

Forget wolf culls: researcher says more moose and deer hunting would help B.C. caribou

A herd of B.C.'s endangered mountain caribou that lives in and around Mount Revelstoke National Park has only four animals left after numbering 120 in 1994… Serrouya and others advocate for one particular solution: increase the hunting of deer and moose that are spreading across B.C. Serrouya says logging activities, climate change and forest fires over the last 150 years have removed trees in B.C., replacing them with lighter shrubbery that can remain in place for 30 to 40 years. That shrubbery is eaten by moose and deer. As the shrubbery has grown, so too have those animals' populations while also spreading into caribou territory. He says those animals are enticing wolves to come along with them and caribou are becoming "bycatch" — unintentionally caught prey — as the wolves hunt moose and deer. "They're not the main animal that sustains the predators but they get taken on the side and that can lead to extinction." As he explains, that's because caribou are less reproductive than moose or deer, and while moose and deer have ways of handling predators — moose with their fearsome kicking and deer with their speed — caribou simply travel to areas where there are no predators. But as wolves spread and habitat is removed, that is less and less possible. Serrouya says many jurisdictions are using wolf culls to stop the loss of caribou, but he says that is a "Band-Aid solution" at best and increasingly socially unacceptable... "That approach seems more acceptable than directly killing wolves," he said. "You're also providing a food opportunity for hunters