Proposed Alberta wolf cull slammed

March 6, 2008 at 2:08 PM
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BANFF, Alberta, March 6 (UPI) -- A cull of wolves proposed by the University of Alberta in Banff is being ridiculed as "bone-headed" by environmentalists, the Calgary Herald reported.

Professor Evelyn Merrill of the university's department of biological sciences said one of the justifications of the cull, which would involve shooting wolf pups and sterilizing older wolves, would be to provide more elk for hunters.

While the provincial government and the Alberta Fish and Game Association supports the experiment, the cull has many opponents, such as the federal Parks Canada agency, the report said. A spokesman told the newspaper attempts at predator control in the 1960s created unnaturally high prey densities and problems that are still prevalent.

James Pissot, executive director of Defenders of Wildlife Canada, said the plan proposed to run for five years beginning in 2009 appears to be another "bone-headed wolf cull poorly disguised as research."

"Elk-wolf interaction is a natural ecological process, and except for extraordinary circumstances, nature should be left alone," Pissot told the Herald. "This appears to be agricultural management of wildlife under the guise of a research project."

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