6.5 Primary Prey Management



Logging and forest fires have reduced some of the woodland caribou’s preferred old forest habitats. The open meadows and young forest or early seral landscapes newly abundant with grass and shrubs attract moose, elk and deer. In turn, these primary prey species attract wolves, bears and cougars, which often choose caribou as secondary prey.

Reducing these other prey species in and around caribou habitat may help reduce the presence of predators,   and protect caribou herds. This idea is being tested in pilot projects to reduce moose numbers in the Parsnip and Revelstoke areas. Findings from these ongoing projects will influence decisions for matrix (multiple species) habitat, and could lead to a standard approach in similar habitats.

18 responses to “6.5 Primary Prey Management

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    [-] TS

    Mother nature knows what she is doing – its when humans start interfering that problems occur. Leave the animals out of it- they all have their place in this world. stop all the logging that is what is killing off the cariboo it has nothing to do with wolves

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    [-] Kelly

    As guess-work goes, opening more hunting opportunities won't address future, unintended consequences.

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    [-] Danny

    This is as true as a statement can be. Movement of other species into caribou habitat

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    [-] cheryl

    human destruction of habitat has created this problem. so it would seem that better land management is in the best interest of the caribou rather than deforestation by corporations.

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    [-] cheryl

    there is no long term scientific studies that would indicate that culling another species would resolve this issue.

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    [-] cheryl

    I do not agree that culling another species is the answer. of course a hunter would like to see this as they will benefit therefore any feedback from groups like these should not be consulted as its a conflict of interest!

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    [-] Heather

    What scientific evidence do you have that this will work? Maybe if you stop cutting down the habitat that would work better than killing more animals!!

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    [-] Onni

    I feel sickened to hear that wolves are being killed to protect endangered caribou herds. It is government mismanagement and corporate greed that approved extensive logging and development projects. I feel outraged that wolves are being used as scapegoats now. Stop killing wolves now.

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    [-] Randy

    I think we should probably reduce the population of people who have been managing our resources as they have been the biggest threat to the caribou.

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    [-] Adam

    The use and funding of properly controlled pilot projects such as described here is a positive step forward. It is likely not possible to simply eliminate human influence from wildlife populations in much of BC, the best we can do is continue to fund studies and trial projects to make that human influence as beneficial as possible.

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    [-] Monica

    Are there a lot of deer culls? Are there a lot of hunting licenses issues for elk and moose? Maybe if we stopped that, the wolves would eat their primary prey instead of caribou. It seems to me it's human activity that needs to be culled, not the wolves. Even if you don't find the slaughter of sentient creatures abhorrent, where's the science that says we won't be making a bad situation worse by adding further imbalance and other problems? Like rat infestations Raccoons starving and begging in the streets. Roving gangs of genetically inferior ungulates… Let's let nature do what we can't, which is keep itself in balance.

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    [-] bryan

    Culling wolves has not helped and culling others prey species will also not help. There is little to no actual research to show how this can work. What always works is leave them be! Protect and restore the habitat and keep people and especially industry away.

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    [-] Brian

    It's time to review the pilot predator/prey management theories that have already taken place to see how successful or unsuccessful they have been. The pilot in the Revelstoke area has been ongoing for about 15 years and has reduced the moose population in the area by over 75%. A report from 2017 states, “It is hypothesized that alternate prey reduction through increased moose harvesting quotas has indirectly reduced wolf populations and possibly increased caribou survival” basically saying that they think it has helped but have no real scientific evidence to show that. While I do believe that some areas of the province may have predator issues, here in the Revelstoke area things seem to be different. The predator prey reduction did reduce wolf numbers but it was necessary to expel all remaining wolves from the area to try and get a response from the caribou. This was done in the winters of 2016/17 and 2017/18. While moose have shown a major response in reproductive rates (the highest ever recorded in BC), caribou are not showing any measurable response to the changes.

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    [-] Marion

    The change in the environment is the problem, not the wildlife. It does not make sense to try and relocate or kill the animals moving into the new landscape. You cannot protect one species against another.

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    [-] Anna

    Killing off one native species in an attempt to save another is scientifically and ecologically foolish. Far more sound is a restoration of habitat through the reduction of logging, fossil fuel extraction and transport, and construction. This plan is a tragedy in the making.

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    [-] CS

    Clean your own back yard before blaming predators. Can you imagine we trophy hunt in Provincial parks still and then blame wolves and bears. Humans got to grow up. What makes humans so special that they need to kill everything in pursuit of money.

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    [-] Scott

    I am firmly opposed to the operationalization of primary prey management as a means of saving caribou. It is a passive and simplistic approach to recovery that does not address the immediacy of the predator problem nor the complex predator-prey relationship. We must not persecute one species for the benefit of the other. Moose are no more or less important than caribou. When we have an imbalance in the predator/prey dynamic, we must take the appropriate action. Predator control is a critical – and perhaps the most critical – component of caribou recovery.

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    [-] Christina

    I ask that we move away from the idea of interfering with the wolf population. Instead, let's move toward reducing our impact on the habitat of these creatures. If we work toward healthy forests, both resource-based businesses and the animals can do well.

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