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'Legacy of Decisions' Blamed for Decimation of Bow Valley Wolf Pack

posted May 18, 2017, 8:18 AM by chloe owens   [ updated May 18, 2017, 8:18 AM ]

4/24/17, by Michele Jarvie, Calgary Herald

‘Legacy of decisions’ blamed for decimation of Bow Valley wolf pack

The well-known Bow Valley wolf pack is down to two animals after one wandered hundreds of kilometres into British Columbia where it was shot by a hunter in March. The two-year-old male, known as 1502, had recently been fitted with a new GPS collar in Banff National Park on March 15. Days later he began a westward trek that ended near Arrow Lakes, B.C., on March 31. The hunter turned the collar in to conservation officials, but parks officials already suspected the worst as GPS data showed no movement. The Bow Valley pack, which once numbered as high as nine, now consists of an alpha male and his female offspring. Six members of the pack died last year: four pups were killed by trains and two females, including the alpha, had to be destroyed after becoming aggressive looking for food in campgrounds… “It’s unfortunate, but the situation for wolves in the park is very tenuous in terms of long-term survival,” said Paul Paquet, adjunct professor at the University of Victoria who has studied wolf ecology behaviour for 45 years.“ This just adds to the difficulties the pack is already facing in trying to survive in the Bow Valley.” Paquet puts some blame on increasing development in the national park, which has pushed wildlife out of traditional habitat.“ The sad story is that it’s a legacy of decisions that have been made over the years that favoured development over wolves. It’s undeniable. It’s not a criticism of the decisions — or the people who made them — it’s just a fact,” said Paquet.