Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Says Province is Failing Rare Algonquin Wolf
|Algonquin canid by Steve Dunsford of Impressions of Algonquin|
October 24, 2017 — Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) Dianne Saxe released her Environmental Protection Annual Report, an assessment on whether ministries have fulfilled their responsibilities under the Environmental Bill of Rights, and whether their environmentally significant decisions were consistent with the purposes of the law. The ECO is province’s environmental watchdog, an independent officer of the Legislature. In her 2017 Environmental Protection Report,”Good Choices, Bad Choices: Environmental Rights and Environmental Protection in Ontario“, the ECO examines eight environmental issues this year, including Ontario’s failure to protect a threatened species – the Algonquin wolf.
“Hunting and trapping is a central threat to the long-term survival of the Algonquin wolf, which is a threatened species at risk. Ontario’s Endangered Species Act prohibits threatened species from being killed or harmed, but the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has chosen to exempt the Algonquin wolf from this important protection across much of its range. The ministry has opted to only protect Algonquin wolves from hunting and trapping in and around a few isolated provincial parks. Scientists have concluded that the Algonquin wolf stands little chance of recovery unless the ministry bans hunting and trapping of wolves and coyotes throughout its range.”
The report finds that between their small population — there could be as few as 154 adult Algonquin wolves in all of Ontario — and lax rules around their protection, it’s conceivable they could entirely disappear from the landscape.