Wolves to be poisoned for tar sands development in Canada

NWF is releasing a paper today that traces the links between wolf poisonings in Alberta and the declining caribou populations resulting from development of fossil fuels including tar sands. Building Keystone XL would make the U.S. complicit in this cruelty for potentially decades. The paper comes amidst news that Alberta and Canadian governments are scrambling to save their image from the controversial tar sands industry.

NWF says building the controversial Keystone XL pipeline would make the U.S. complicit in killing poisoning potentially thousands of wolves.

Here’s links to the blog and the paper.

Late last week, internal documents went public showing Canada is fretting over its sullied reputation for unfettered fossil fuel development, while resorting to poisoning wolves rather than fix the problem. NWF released a paper today showing tar sands, oil and gas development in Canada is contributing to the decline in caribou herds. Rather than improve environmental practices to protect and restore caribou habitat, Canadian wildlife officials are poisoning wolves with strychnine-laced bait. The news comes as Alberta and Canadian officials scramble to address environmental monitoring failures that are wreaking havoc up north.

The highly controversial Keystone XL proposal would move this Canadian dirty oil through the heartland of the U.S. to export, making the U.S. complicit in causing excruciating wildlife culling.

Strychnine progresses painfully from muscle spasms to convulsions to suffocation over a period of hours. The NWF paper says the poison will also put at risk animals like raptors, wolverines and cougars that eat the poisoned bait or scavenge on the carcasses of poisoned wildlife.

Here’s what Canada’s Minister of Environment Peter Kent said in September: “Culling is an accepted if regrettable scientific practice and means of controlling populations and attempting to balance what civilization has developed. I’ve got to admit, it troubles me that that’s what is necessary to protect this species,” Kent commented. Simon Dyer of the Pembina Institute estimates that many thousands of wolves could be destroyed over five years.

Instead of resorting to euphemistic descriptions of a repugnant method of killing, Mr. Kent and Canadian officials should be stopping the habitat destruction in the first place. Destroying and fragmenting caribou habitat to produce one of the dirtiest fuels on the planet means fewer caribou and fewer wolves just to line the pockets of Big Oil.

It’s increasingly par for the course in Canada, as the nation continues its slide from “Green to Gray.” What’s disturbing is that Keystone XL commits the U.S. to a decades long partnership in these ”crimes” against wildlife.

Get the rest here – http://blog.nwf.org/2012/02/wolves-being-poisoned-over-tar-sands-in-canada/