General News · 8th April 2022
Sabina Leader Mense
The transition from winter to spring is a challenging one for our native wildlife and we therefore ask Cortesians to play their part in reducing conflict with local wildlife.
Please ensure that all livestock & pet fencing is intact and secure, following the winter storms. All outside livestock & pet enclosures need to be predator proof and please keep outside feeding stations clean, providing no attractants for wildlife.
Of special note for all Cortes newcomers accompanied by your familiars, cats and dogs, is the understanding that Cortes Island provides habitat for healthy, wild populations of wolf, cougar and black bear. Friends of Cortes Island’s 5-point primers on coexisting with wolves and bears are attached below for you reference and are posted in public places across the Island.
In particular, dog owners need to understand that:
1. Dogs are a magnet for wolves; dogs represent domestic intruders in a wolf’s territory.
Dogs should not be taken into the wilder areas of the island where wolves live and hunt; eg. Carrington Bay Park and Ha’thayim (Von Donop) Provincial Park.
2. All dogs being walked, MUST be leashed. A leash sends a clear message to the wolves that the dog belongs to the person at the end of the leash.
Dog owners should expect to be “escorted”” by wolves, who may follow along, on the off chance that the person lets the dog off the leash. An unleashed dog is a dead dog; this needs to be avoided at all costs as it will also result in the ultimate death of the wolf, who becomes habituated.
3. Wolves have zero tolerance for dogs; they WILL kill dogs. Domestic dogs have zero instinct to stay clear of wolves, so it is the responsibility of the dog owner to keep their dogs safe.
Dog owners need to know that their dogs will use all their physical strength to strain at a leash to get to the wolves; dog owners need to be physically strong enough to control their dogs on leash when this situation arises.
4. Delineate the lines clearly around your “residential use areas”; whenever wolves are seen in or entering the designated “residential use areas”, they should be clearly and consistently asked to leave; effectively done with blasts from an airhorn in their direction. Some residents hang airhorns in handy places near/on their residence, so that if/when wolves appear, they have quick access to the airhorn. CONSISTENT messaging is the key to success; wolves are intelligent.
Vice versa, people should be asked to keep their dogs out of the “wild” areas.
The ultimate goal of wildlife coexistence... is that wildlife go about their business and we go about ours, without conflict.
Consistency in following the 5-point primer guidelines is the key to our success. FOCI is here to support Cortesians in wildlife coexistence and we have an extended community of provincial expertise to draw on to advise your questions and concerns. Please do not hesitate to call on us; 250 935 0087 friendsofcortesgmail.com
THANK YOU for working together, in community, to effect COEXistence with our WILDlife!