I am disappointed with the reporting on the Algonquin wolf (page 1, ‘Manitoulin not included in wolves/coyotes no hunting and trapping proposal, for now” February 9’).
The status on this wolf has deteriorated since 2008. It is threatened with extinction. There are now an estimated 500 individuals, in small areas of Ontario, and they are losing the struggle to survive.
We are the caretakers of these animals, in the same way that the Chinese are the caretakers of the panda, the Indonesians are the caretakers of the orangutans and the New Zealanders are the caretakers of the kiwi birds.
Yet the old hostile attitudes of 150 years ago haven’t changed. Even though the Algonquin wolf population has been reduced to almost nothing, there is a hue and cry over not finishing them off.
Who will speak up in their defense?
Around the world most large mammals are under extreme stress. They simply cannot live with seven billion homo sapiens squeezing them out of their natural habitats with logging, mining, roads and settlements, destroying their sources of food, trapping and shooting them. I believe it is immoral for us to grab every scrap of land and every last resource for ourselves. We are driving them to extinction.
Intemperate language, saying the government is “ramming regulations down our throats” to protect threatened species, only serves to aggravate the issue and perpetuate the lack of understanding that the world has changed drastically. From one billion in 1800, the population of our own species has exploded to seven billion now and the pressure we put on other species is unbelievable.
A pitiful 10 percent of Canada’s land is protected from development. On Manitoulin it’s an even more pitiful four percent. We should value and protect nature, far more than we now do. I hope Ontario does the right thing and protects Algonquin wolves.