Ontario Government proposes to loosen wolf and coyote hunting regulations in Northern Ontario
The government of Ontario is considering loosening the regulations on wolf and coyote hunting, suggesting it will help declining moose populations. While some of the proposed changes make sense, the focus on increased wolf and coyote killing is both unscientific and unethical. You can help protect Ontario’s wildlife by submitting a comment to the Environmental Bill of Rights in support of science-based protections for moose, and responsible management of wildlife activities.
Critically, the proposed changes would eliminate reporting requirements for wolves and coyotes, making it impossible to enforce any kill limits or collect much-needed data to assess impacts on wildlife. They would also allow unlimited killing of coyotes, including pups, virtually year-round.
Although the government claims these proposed changes will help moose, there is no scientific evidence to suggest this will be the case. Eastern coyotes are not major predators of moose, and increased wolf hunting may result in fragmented wolf packs, with unintended consequences such as compensatory reproduction, prey switching to threatened species, and increased predation.
Killing predators under the pretense of benefitting their prey is not supported by the available scientific evidence. Moose are impacted by changing vegetation patterns, parasite loads, and habitat loss in Ontario, and better protection for calves and ecosystem-based management is essential. Killing wolves is not the answer.
Please take action today, and urge the government of Ontario to provide increased protections for moose and their habitat, and science-based management of wildlife activities.