Wolves, coyotes and moose in Ontario urgently need your help!
Ontario is planning to weaken hunting laws so that coyotes and wolves can be shot and killed more easily in Northern Ontario. Officials are trying to justify expanding this brutal hunt by claiming it will help protect moose populations. Yet the government’s own research shows that while Ontario’s moose population is in danger, moose hunting, habitat loss, and climate change are to blame—not predation by wolves and coyotes.
But instead of taking meaningful steps to protect moose, Ontario is bowing to pressure from hunters, and wants to declare open season on these two keystone species. This will result in countless more wolves and coyotes being cruelly gunned down by hunters’ rifles, or pierced to death with arrows.
Ontario is proposing to:
- eliminate special game seals that hunters are currently required to purchase in order to kill wolves and coyotes;
- increasing the “bag limit” to two wolves per year per hunter;
- eliminate reporting requirements, robbing the public of valuable data;
- allow for the unlimited killing of coyotes from September 1 – June 15, which includes coyote pupping season
The real threats to moose populations are human-made: habitat loss, climate change—which changes vegetation patterns and increases parasite loading—and hunting, including hunting of moose calves in particular.
Scientific evidence shows that killing moose calves has a greater impact on moose populations than was previously assumed. Eastern coyotes are not significant predators of moose, and wolf hunting results in smaller packs but not significantly fewer moose being killed by those packs. Wolves also generally prey on the youngest, oldest, and weakest moose, consuming few strong, breeding-age moose.
What Ontario’s moose need is better protection for calves from hunters, and science-based, precautionary management of the ecosystems on which they depend. The senseless slaughter of wolves and coyotes will only result in needless suffering, and potentially wide-ranging negative impacts on ecosystems. Please tell the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to do its job and protect animals and biodiversity, rather letting trigger-happy hunters kill more innocent animals.
Here’s some draft text you can use in your comments. Feel free to edit and put the words into your own voice.
“I am writing in response to the proposed changes to moose management and wolf and coyote hunting regulations in northern Ontario (ERO 019-0405 and ERO 019-0406). Please consider these comments as part of the public review.
Ontario’s moose population is under threat. Your government must act with urgency to protect moose and ensure a healthy, thriving population of this nationally important species.
The government’s proposal to ease restrictions on wolf and coyote hunting is unethical and unscientific. There is no scientific evidence that increased wolf and coyote hunting will address moose population decline in Ontario. To the contrary, the Ministry’s own scientific evidence shows that hunting wolves will not decrease overall predation of moose. Eastern coyotes are not even significant predators of moose.
Wolves, coyotes, and moose have been co-existing and co-evolving in a predator-prey dynamic for thousands of years. The real threats to Ontario’s moose populations are human-made: habitat loss, climate change, and human hunting, including hunting of calves in particular.
Easing regulations around wolf and coyote hunting, including by removing requirements for reporting and special game seals, and extending the coyote hunting season, is irresponsible and contrary to the Ministry’s mandate to protect our biodiversity. The MNRF should strengthen reporting requirements and enforcement, and ensure it is managing Ontario’s ecosystems in a manner that promotes healthy, sustainable ecosystems.
I urge the government to take urgent action on the real threats to Ontario’s moose population, by protecting moose habitat and ending moose calf hunting in this province. Apex predators such as wolves and coyotes play a vital role in maintaining biodiversity and are living, sentient beings that deserve our respect and compassion.
Thank you for taking action!
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