Canada’s Environment Minister Responds

In a letter dated June 19, 2012, Peter Kent, Canada’s Minister of the Environment responded to MWC’s April 29, 2012 letter calling for a Bi-National Recovery Plan for wolves in the northeast U.S. and eastern Canada.  In his letter Mr. Kent noted that the provinces and territories are normally responsible for fish and wildlife management with the exception of migratory birds and aquatic species as well as terrestrial species found on federal lands.  Gray and eastern wolves are managed by the provinces except that the eastern wolf is listed as a species at risk under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA).  As such, the federal government through Environment Canada is working with the provinces of Ontario and Quebec on a management plan.

Unfortunately, Mr. Kent also stated in his letter that, “There are no plans to prepare a binational recovery plan for the eastern wolf or gray wolf.”  He did note that, “However, this does not preclude complementary conservation work underway for wolves in both countries.”  He did not state what this “complementary conservation work” might entail.

Mr. Kent’s response, although disappointing, was not unexpected.  What was particularly disappointing was the apparent lack of understanding on the part of Canada’s federal government with regard to the type of wolf that has been attempting to recolonize the northeast U.S. and maritime Canada.  Mr. Kent’s letter focused primarily on eastern wolves when it is a gray/eastern wolf hybrid not the eastern wolf that has been documented in this region.  This animal is larger than the eastern wolf by some 20-30 lbs.  Because of its size it is more capable of taking down moose and caribou and is likewise likely more able to out compete the eastern coyote for territory and prey.

It is apparent that Canada’s federal government is behind the curve when it comes to wolves south of the St. Lawrence River.  We urge and encourage the people of Canada and the U.S. to contact Mr. Kent to ask that Canada’s federal government use its resources to help wolves in Maritime Canada to recover where prey and habitat are sufficient.

Please contact:

Peter Kent-Environment Minister
401 Confederation Building
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Note: We are still awaiting a reply from Secretary Salazar.

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