General News · 7th January 2024
Sabina Leader Mense/ CCWP
We are starting the New Year off on a strong note of wildlife coexistence; one which deserves sincere acknowledgement of the many Cortesians giving wolves the space they need to survive on Cortes Island. Chris Darimont, Science Director Raincoast Conservation Foundation, calls it “societal tolerance”.
The Cortes wolf pack continues to be active in the southern reaches of the island, where we have cleared forest and created good forage for deer, which the wolves prey on. We have shifted the availability of their food/ prey and they are having to learn how to navigate around the places we live, in order to access their hunting habitats.
Bob Hansen, former Pacific Rim National Park Reserve human-wildlife conflict specialist, commented that, “...wolves do an amazing job of staying out of the human eye and not interacting with us. It is up to us to figure out how to live in such a way that we are not drawing them into conflict.”
KUDOs to all Cortesians who are not drawing wolves into conflict and there are many of you...
... residents who ensure there are no food attractants accessible to wolves, i.e. a clean homesite with no pet food lying around, no food in compost or garbage put out for pickup and no feeding of deer or raccoons off the front porch,
...livestock owners who consistently ensure their livestock are safely fenced by day and enclosed in predator-proof shelters by night,
...dog owners who recognize that their dogs represent a canine, territorial threat to wolves and have their dogs safely fenced by day, inside their houses by night and on leash whenever they are being walked outside these areas.
**Remember the power of the leash: wolves recognize dogs on leash as belonging to the person at the end of the leash, not as prey. The leash dramatically reduces the risk of conflict between the canines, wolf and dog.
The coexistence mantra is... keep the wolves wild, wary and alive!
Avoid behaviors that put wolves at risk; NO attractants, NO interactions, i.e. NO reason to stick around.
The Cortes Community Wolf Project’s extended community of provincial expertise is actively engaged and supporting us at this time. Please note Conservation Officer Jillian Bjarnason’s upcoming visit to Cortes Island Jan13, with details in yesterday’s Tideline post.
For folks new to Cortes Island and new to living together with wildlife, please check out our
5-point primer: Learning to Live with Wolves on Cortes Island, attached below.
WELCOME... to the wildlife coexistence conversation