The B.C. government has completed the first season of a five-year targeted cull of grey wolf populations.

Wolf cull ends for this year with 84 killed

Aerial targeting of grey wolves to continue for four years as South Selkirk and some South Peace caribou herds near extinction

The B.C. government has killed 11 wolves in the South Selkirk Mountains and another 73 in the South Peace region in the first year of a five-year plan  to protect dwindling caribou herds.

The South Selkirk program left seven to 10 wolves alive because they were not targeting caribou, and their movements continue to be tracked. That mountain caribou herd is down to 14, compared to 18 last year and 46 in 2009.

The South Peace herds have also seen significant losses from wolves, with 37 per cent of adult mortalities confirmed as wolf kills. Four herds in the region, the Quintette, Moberly, Scott and Kennedy-Siding, were targeted in the wolf removal program.

The 700-member Graham herd, the largest in the South Peace, is being left without protection as a control group.

The program to shoot wolves from the air was a last resort after targeted hunting and trapping of wolves proved inadequate, sometimes splitting up wolf packs and increasing predation of caribou.

The South Selkirk herd has been subject to intensive protection efforts on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border. In 2007 the province banned logging and roadbuilding in its 2.2 million-hectare B.C. range and restricted off-road recreatioin to reduce human disturbance.

In the Peace region, restrictions were approved in 2012 to protect 498,000 hectares of high elevation winter range.

The modern program began in 2003, after decades of managed hunting and other wolf control measures.

For the first part of the 20th century, B.C. offered a bounty on wolves that ended in 1955. Beginning in 1950, baits laced with poison were used in bait stations and later dropped onto frozen lakes and rivers, which killed other species as well as wolves.

Large-scale poisoning in wilderness areas was suspended in 1960, but targeted baiting to protect livestock continued until 1999.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Fire destroys historic Hitching Post restaurant in Hedley

Two people were injured as fire ripped through the Hedley restaurant around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday

RDOS supports agriculturalists to reduce burning

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen encourages ag properties to grind rather than burn debris

Former Kamloops sheriff caught in sex-related sting pleads guilty to lesser charge

Kevin Johnston will be sentenced on Nov. 6 for his role in communicating online with a person posing as a 14-year-old girl.

Plans for Bugnut property delayed

Plans to built an outdoor social pavilion at the downtown location of… Continue reading

Coyne “overwhelmed” with certain mayoral victory

Spencer Coyne asked Princeton to “Vote for Change.” And it did. The… Continue reading

Federal carbon tax rebates will exceed the cost for most people affected

Officials say 70 per cent of people in those provinces will get back more than they end up paying out as fuel costs rise to incorporate the carbon tax.

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

5 tips to keep trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween

BC Children’s Hospital has a few suggestions to keep Oct. 31 fun

B.C. man gets seven years in prison for baseball-bat attack on Kamloops teen

Kamloops man who beat Jessie Simpson into a coma has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. He was originally charged with attempted murder and assault with a weapon.

Cougar spotted after Vancouver Island resident finds his decapitated cat

Reports of conservation officers actively looking for the predator in Port Hardy Tuesday afternoon

Time running out for TV debate on proportional representation

B.C. Liberal leader spars with Premier John Horgan over timing

New rules introduced to protect B.C. foreign workers from exploitation

More than 16,000 temporary permits issued last year

Vancouver Canucks’ Elias Pettersson ‘feeling good’ after concussion

Rookie is back practising after being sidelined by Florida defenceman Mike Matheson

UPDATED: 34 rescued off whale watching boat in Georgia Strait

Tour company says vessel experienced some kind of mechanical issue

Most Read