Howling for Justice

Conservation groups call for government action to protect wolves during National Wolf Awareness Week

(Toronto) Earthroots and the Canadian Wolf Coalition are calling on the government to address the serious threats that wolves face in Ontario. The groups are pressuring the government to implement wolf conservation strategies across the province and take long overdue protection measures for Eastern wolves, a threatened species.

“Ontarians are very lucky to have two distinct species of wolves in the province: the Gray wolf and the Eastern wolf. But this could change if the government continues to refuse to take further action.” remarks Sadie Parr, campaigner for the Canadian Wolf Coalition. “The only place Eastern wolves are doing well is within Algonquin Park where the establishment of a permanent buffer zone free from hunting and trapping effectively doubled the size of protected wolf habitat.”

Wolves are only adequately protected on 3% of their range in the province; there are only a few parks in Ontario that are off limits to hunting and trapping and large enough to sustain a viable wolf population. Wolves require large undisturbed tracts of wilderness in order to thrive in their natural, family pack structure.

Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner, Gord Miller, has stated that the development and implementation of an Eastern Wolf Management Plan is long overdue (the Species at Risk Act required that the Management Plan be released by June 2008). The Commissioner points out in his report, “Building Resilience”, that despite its ecological importance, the Eastern wolf is a species that is still legally allowed to be hunted within Ontario’s parks. “Out of 183 species at risk, Eastern wolves are the only species that the ministry allows to be recreationally hunted in provincial parks.”

During National Wolf Awareness Week, Earthroots and the Canadian Wolf Coalition are reminding the government that there is still much work to be done in terms of meaningful wolf protection. They are calling on the government to institute sustainable limits on wolf trapping, ban wolf hunting and trapping in all protected areas, implement an Eastern Wolf recovery plan, ban wolf snaring, and create new conservation reserves to fully protect wolves and their threatened habitat.

“Over the last decade the steadfast campaigning of groups like Earthroots and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society has helped change the way people look at wolves.” notes Josh Garfinkel, senior campaigner for Earthroots. “The general public now understands that wolves are not the merciless villains portrayed in fairy tales. They are intelligent, social animals that play a vital role in the ecosystem and deserve protection.”

“The next imperative step for Ontario’s wolf populations is the implementation of bold, on the ground conservation initiatives. The future of our wilderness depends on it.” adds Josh.

For more information contact Josh Garfinkel at 416-599-0152 x15 (work), 416-562-3894 (cell), or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To visit the Canadian Wolf Coalition website please click here.