Wolf Hunt Ban Permanent
Algonquin Provincial Park Canada



Canada Press / Ontario / March 4, 2004


The Ontario government has announced a permanent ban on hunting wolves
in Algonquin Provincial Park.

"It's vital to the people of Ontario that their wildlife is protected,"
Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay said yesterday. "Today we are
taking real, positive action to help ensure Ontarians will hear the
howls of the wolves of Algonquin in the future."

The province is proposing a permanent ban on hunting and trapping wolves and coyotes in the park and in townships surrounding it. The
proposal would also ban chasing wolves or coyotes with dogs, both in
the park and in nearby townships.

It will be posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry for 30
days.

The ministry is also proposing that the eastern wolf be added to the
new list of species at risk in Ontario as a species of special concern.

The ministry estimates the wolf population in Algonquin is made up
mainly of the more endangered eastern wolves.

A moratorium on wolf hunting, instituted because of a dramatic fall in
the wolf population in the park and nearby townships, was scheduled to
expire in June.

Although wolves in Algonquin have been protected from hunting for
years, biologists believe the population is declining because wolves
wandering from their sanctuary in the park are shot or snared outside
the nature reserve.

The natural resources ministry does not keep precise records of the
number of wolves killed each year, but last estimated the population in
the province is 10,000. The eastern wolf population in Algonquin Park
is approximately 200.

Joining the minister in Toronto for yesterday's announcement were Monte
Hummel of the World Wildlife Fund, Gregor Beck of Ontario Nature and
Jean Langlois of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

Hummel said Ramsay "has definitely made the right decision here."

Langlois, who admitted being thrilled by the announcement, said it
"demonstrates a sound appreciation of the essential role of wolves in
the Algonquin ecosystem."

Algonquin Provincial Park is the largest protected area for the eastern
wolf in North America.
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