General News · 7th May 2010
Friends of Cortes Island
There is much misinformation circulating in the community about recent wolf related activity. To set the record straight:
1. Since Jan. 2008, the FOCI Wolf Project and the BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) have been working cooperatively to educate the community on how to reduce conflict with wolves. FOCI, in partnership with the COS and the National Park Warden Service, has developed a “Wolf Smart” safety program. The 5 point Wolf Smart program is available from the FOCI office and posted in the community. Also see most recent issue of THE HOWL and on the Tidelines.
2. FOCI, in partnership with the Ministry of Environment (MoE), is studying the movement, behavior, population and identity of Cortes Island wolves. Island residents should report all simple wolf sightings to the FOCI office at 935-0087 to assist this project. Any wolf incidents that involve conflict between wolves and people, pets or livestock should be IMMEDIATELY reported directly to the Conservation Officer Service emergency line at 1-877-952-7277. Reports of wolf conflict will be assessed by the COS and responded to as required. The COS will not routinely respond to simple sightings. Sabina Leader Mense will be in the FOCI office from 1-4 pm May 7 and 14 for questions and updates.
3. Following recent increase in raids by wolves on domestic pets and livestock, a Conservation Officer responded to Cortes Island twice. The officer was attempting to locate any wolf identified as a conflict animal (based on descriptors provided by complainants) and humanely destroy it. No general cull of the wolf population was authorized or attempted. The officer utilized bait and audible attractant calls, but no conflict animal was identified and the officer did not kill any wolves. Officers will continue to respond to the Island if conflict with wolves persists and public safety is at risk.
4. The general public may lawfully kill wolves only in defense or by recreational hunting. Animals killed in defense of life or property must be IMMEDIATELY reported to the COS at the above number and the incident will be investigated by the COS to determine if the shooting was appropriate and necessary. Those who shoot wolves in defense have no indemnity from any criminal or civil liability if the shooting endangers people or property. Recreational wolf hunters must abide by ALL regulations, including licensing, open seasons, hide removal and hunter reporting. Information on recreational hunting can be found in the current MoE Hunting Regulations Synopsis. The COS will investigate incidents of hunting non-compliance and the public is encouraged to report violators to the COS reporting line.
Sgt. Ben York
Supervisor – North Island Zone
Conservation Officer Service
Sabina Leder Mense
FOCI Wolf Project