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Alberta's Killing Fields

Posted in news-and-events

As the sun sets glowing red, purple and gold along the pristine foothills of Alberta the beauty of the scene is punctuated by the chatter and howls of the beloved song dog, Canis Latrans, the Coyote. Aboriginal stories of Coyote are wrought with tales of their mischievousbehaviour and amazing ability to adapt.

Coyote is as much a part of the the Alberta landscape as the wild horses, deer, bear, wolves and many other magnificent animals, including one we all know well, humans. Coyote is as much at home in the rural areas and prairie as he is in the cities. He is stealth, he is wily, he is savvy, he is adaptable, he is creative and he is necessary. A healthy ecosystem is paramount to the success of all living beings and a great part of that is the predators.

Coyote is directly responsible for maintaining an even balance in the prey-predator relationship. Without Coyote we will see uncontrolled increases in mice, gophers, voles and rabbits, all of which can wreak havoc on our homes, gardens, parks not to mention our health through the spread of certain diseases.

But what about our pets, livestock for our farming friends, don’t predators cause issues and harm animals like small dogs and young livestock. Well the answer is yes, they are predators so your small dog or the new born lamb is no different than the wild rabbit or injured bird to Coyote.

But the good news is that it is entirely possible to live with predators such as Coyote in safety and a spirit of co-existence. For information on what you can do to co-exist safely with the wild life in your community check out our page with tips and information for both rural and urban dwellers – http://coyotewatchcanada.com/co-existing-with-coyotes/living-with-coyotesNot everyone is aware of these effective non-lethal tools for co-existing. Enter the Wildlife killing contests, also called tournaments which are taking place across the continent at a fever pitch. Wildlife killing contests (WKC) in North America are alarming in that there is no regard to the ecological impact to local ecosystems. Individuals create an event where certain wildlife species are targeted without a limit to how many a hunter can kill. These events are promoted by using prizes, including money, as incentive for the winners in certain categories. The kill categories may include winners with the largest and smallest male/female body weight, pregnant females; colour phase of an animal and with coyotes, money may be given for the ‘mangiest’ coyote.

One need not look far on the internet to discover that there are thousands of horrendous photos that feature countless; lifeless bodies of coyotes and other wildlife that are victims of a distorted appeal to feed an insatiable appetite to kill. Often corpses are left to rot in the landscape such as the recent case in LasCruses area. Close to forty slain coyotes were strewn across the desert floor. These contests are still considered legal today.

One such contest the DKD Coyote Hunting Tournament is set to take place and is open province wide to any registered team from Alberta, Canada. This coyote killing contest is planned for January 10th in Sangudo, Alberta, Canada. Details about the “coyote hunting tournament” are currently advertised in various social media venues.

Accountability at every level of government must come to the forefront regarding WKCs. Ecologically reckless, unethical and scientifically challenged, the blatant indiscriminate killing of such a sentient and vital species is disgraceful and flies in the face of true conservation. Celebrating healthy outdoor activities supported through Alberta’s tourism industry would be better served through non-consumptive uses of or at the very least, ethical pursuits of nature’s resources.

Find and write to your Alberta Wildlife Management Area Contacts at: http://esrd.alberta.ca/about-esrd/contact-esrd/documents/ESRDContacts-WildlifeManagementAreaContacts-Oct2013.pdf

Also send a respectful email to: Minister of Culture and Tourism, Maureen Kubinec who is also a Member of the Legislative Assembly barrhead.morinville.westlock@assembly.ab.ca

You can also write directly to the ESRD Minister Kyle Fawcett at esrd.minister@gov.ca.ab and the Premier of Alberta The Honourable Jim Prentice premier@gov.ab.ca with your respectful emails.

As a community you can contact Coyote Watch Canada and get assistance in using the nonlethal methods of co-existence and pass along the information to your friends, colleagues and family.

Coyote Watch Canada in Action! http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/coyote-hunt-with-cash-prizes-draws-controversy-threats-in-alberta-1.2894093

http://www.ctvnews.ca/saskatchewan-minister-defends-coyote-bounty-1.516402

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