The Eastern Wolf is one of Ottawa Valley's most elusive, yet most fascinating, denizen, but as a 'Species at Risk', its future is uncertain.
The Eastern wolf once occupied a range throughout eastern North America as far north as the Great Lakes. Due to habitat loss, and deliberate attempts to exterminate wolves over more than a century, Eastern wolves were eliminated in most of their historical range. Today they occupy a narrow band stretching from the Gulf of St Lawrence to southeastern Manitoba. The exact boundaries of this range are still poorly defined. However, wolves are seldom seen any great distance south of Algonquin or Gatineau parks.
It is CPAWS-OV’s position that the Ontario government should:
CPAWS-OV has been working to protect the Eastern Wolf, a ‘Species at Risk’. While the coyote is not at risk, we still consider it an important member of the food chain, especially since wolves have been largely eradicated from much of eastern Ontario. We are therefore also working (through our Algonquin to Adirondacks initiative, for example) to have sufficient habitat and natural corridors set aside for it and other wildlife to live in a space where it has some chance to roam with minimal impact on humans.
Through these and other efforts, we are hoping that these negative encounters can be reduced, and that the general public is aware of the benefits of a working and healthy, natural environment.
We oppose the various “tournaments” and “bounties” that have been launched in the past few months to kill coyotes in eastern Ontario. These are a throwback to campaigns that were waged against the wolf a century ago, before there was any understanding of how ecosystems function.
For a thought-provoking article discussing the current debate surrounding coyotes, written by noted biologist Michael Runtz, click here.
In March 2009, CPAWS-OV sent a letter to the Minister of the Environment asking when a Management Plan for the Eastern wolf would be released, given that the Species at Risk Act required that it be released in June 2008; click here to see a copy of that letter. The Minister replied in June 2009, indicating that an effort would be made to complete the Plan in a timely manner, and that studies are underway in Ontario and Quebec, in order to monitor the status of the wolves.
To ensure that a Management Plan for the eastern wolf is prepared and released without further delay, send a fax now to Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources.
On March 31st, 2010, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resource’s research scientist Brent Patterson gave a presentation on the Eastern Wolf (and coyotes). Some of the information given included: