BC Wolf Cull Timeline

An overview of the B.C. government's long-term, multi-million dollar wolf kill program.

timeline categories

gray wolves

woodland caribou

critical habitat

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Pacific Wild Takes Legal Action Against Wolf Cull
July 21, 2020

Pacific Wild is heading for the courts to fight the B.C. government’s controversial wolf cull that has resulted in more than 1000 wolves being killed over the last five years.

This legal filing comes on the heels of a new study published in the Journal of Biology and Conservation which found the government-sponsored kill program has had no detectable effect on reversing the decline of endangered caribou populations.

“Hundreds of wolves are being killed each year in the most horrific fashion, at tax-payer expense. It’s disheartening to learn that on top of our legal counsel finding grounds to prove this program is likely unlawful under B.C. law, there’s also now confirmation from a renowned academic publication that culling is having no positive impact for caribou recovery,” said Ian McAllister, Pacific Wild’s Executive Director. “We’re fully prepared to challenge the B.C. government in court on this matter.”

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July 21, 2020
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July 14, 2020

New study in the Journal of Biology and Conservation found no evidence that culling wolves counteracts caribou population decline.

According to the research, the BC government-sponsored kill program is having virtually no detectable impact on reversing endangered caribou declines in the province. Researchers instead point out that habitat protection is the key to caribou survival. The BC government has spent millions of tax dollars over the past six years killing more than 1000 wolves. In this year alone, over 460 wolves have been brutally killed by aerial snipers and trappers.

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July 14, 2020
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caribou habitat loss
2020 May

New study from the University of Montana has outlined the B.C. government’s ineffective approaches to endangered caribou recovery

Despite listing status through the federal Species At Risk Act, little has been done to protect old-growth caribou habitat as more than 900 square kilometres has been approved for logging.⁣ Rather than protecting this dwindling habitat, our government continues to blame wolves for caribou population declines.

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2020 May
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2020 March

Our online petition to #SaveBCWolves crossed a monumental milestone, exceeding half a million signatures.

Garnering this much support has been a long time coming. We’ve been working with our partners to spread the word about this issue and collect signatures since the current killing program was greenlit in 2015. Now we want to thank all of our wolf advocates for adding their voices to this issue and ask for continued engagement as we move forward. After all, there’s still much more work to be done.

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2020 March
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2020 February

Legal counsel finds B.C. wolf cull program to be in direct violation of the province’s own laws.

Pacific Wild has issued a Cease and Desist letter for the cull to Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development, Doug Donaldson. It’s time to put a stop to this cruel excuse for conservation and use taxpayer dollars for something useful.

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2020 February
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2019 August

80% of BC wolves could be killed under expansion of controversial program

A recently-leaked internal document dated Aug 22, 2019 has revealed the B.C. government’s intentions to expand the wolf cull program, targeting 80% of wolf populations in some areas. Pacific Wild rallies people from around the world to speak out against the cull expansion, nearly reaching 500,000 signatures on our #SaveBCWolves petition.
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2019 August
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2019 April

B.C. Interior hunting groups under fire for “wolf-whacking” contests

The government has turned a blind eye to rogue “wolf-killing contests” being held in the province’s interior and the recent 2019 bilateral draft agreement between the governments of Canada and B.C. does not reject the use of poisons such as strychnine nor killing pups in their dens.
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2019 April
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2019 March

B.C. approves 314 new cutblocks in endangered caribou habitat over last five months

The B.C. government approved 314 new logging cutblocks in the critical habitat of southern mountain caribou over the past five months, while simultaneously negotiating conservation plans to protect the highly endangered species.
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2019 March
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2018 November

“New survey of permits granted by province highlights incongruity between treatment of forestry companies and a critically imperilled species”

Since May 2018, the provincial government has approved 83 new logging cutblocks in critical habitat of B.C.’s eight most at-risk southern mountain caribou populations – the same eight herds that were singled out in May by federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna.
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2018 November
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2018 September

B.C. government expands bighorn sheep hunting at the same time that it targets wolves to protect two herds

This decision is in direct conflict with the provincial wolf management plan which states that the government does not support predator control for the purpose of hunting ungulate populations.

2018 September
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2018 June

“All hype, no help: B.C. draws ire from scientists over caribou plan”

Scientists criticize the province’s new Draft Caribou Recovery Program for failing to comply with legal obligations under the Species at Risk Act and ignoring the role of logging, mining, and oil and gas activities in caribou decline.
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2018 June
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2018 May

“Caribou are about to disappear completely from the contiguous United States — and the B.C. government is to blame”

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna declares that southern mountain caribou face “imminent threats.”
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2018 May
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2018 February

Pacific Wild takes over the streets of Vancouver for a second time with #SaveBCWolves billboards

Pacific Wild’s advocacy platforms see a surge in numbers: to date, 10,000 letters and over 350,000 signatures have been submitted to #SAVEBCWOLVES.

2018 February
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2018 January

Government Proposes Extension Of Wolf Trapping On Vancouver Island

The B.C. government releases an unscientific regulation proposal to increase the trapping of coastal wolves on Vancouver Island, genetically-distinct from inland grey wolves, to 10 months out of the year.

2018 January
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2017 October

“Woodland caribou continue to decline as provinces fail to meet protection deadline”

Provinces are responsible for protecting a minimum of 65% of caribou habitat from disturbance. This provides merely a 60% chance of survival. The five-year federal deadline for nine Canadian provinces and territories to release their plans to conserve woodland caribou passed on Oct. 5, 2017. Not a single one met that deadline.
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2017 October
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2017 August

“NDP orders review of government reliance on industry-hired experts”

We rally the public to support restructuring the governance of B.C.’s “professional reliance” system, requesting that one of the steps forward addresses the societal, ecological and economic roles that healthy populations of wild wolves can fulfill.
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2017 August
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2017 June

“Hunter-Funded Wildlife Agency Quietly Announced Before B.C. Election”

Pacific Wild and dozens of organizations call for more transparent science-based decision making and denounce a plan to form a new independent wildlife management agency which would relieve the provincial government from managing contentious wildlife issues such as wolf and caribou populations.
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2017 June
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2017 March

6,000 Letters Sent

Pacific Wild sends over 6,000 letters to the provincial government from around the globe calling for an end to the wolf cull. No response was received from the provincial government.

2017 March
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2017 February

More scientists speak out: “Why has past wolf killing not worked?”

“When you come to appreciate individual wolves as personalities and as remarkable social animals, it becomes abhorrent to kill them for such dubious, pseudo-scientific reasons,” said Dr. John and Mary Theberge, senior wolf biologists who have run the longest, most intensive, telemetry-based wolf research program in Canada.
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2017 February
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2017 January

“B.C. government scientists admit wolf cull is inhumane, then propose to expand it”

We join two dozen NGO’s in a collaborative media release responding to a provincial government document that admits the culling of wolves is inhumane, yet recommends expanding aerial gunning of wolves, along with increased hunting of mountain lions, moose and deer.
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2017 January
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2016 May

Legal case exposes B.C. government’s wilful negligence of duty to protect wildlife, ecosystems

An affidavit that is part of the Province’s response to Pacific Wild and Valhalla Wilderness Society’s petition for a Judicial Review of the cull is released: Province admits there is not enough intact habitat left for endangered caribou herds in the South Peace.

2016 May
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2016 February

Wildlife Defence League introduces the world to “A Judas Wolf Named Ghost”

Judas wolves like Ghost are fitted with GPS radio collars: once they have rejoined their pack mates, the pack is systematically gunned down and killed.

2016 February
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2016 January

“Cull opponents take B.C. to court over ‘war on wolves’”

Backed by local and international groups, Pacific Wild and Valhalla Wilderness Society challenge the legality of the wolf cull program.
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2016 January
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2015 November

“Documents indicate B.C. wolf cull linked to forest industry concerns”

Freedom of Information request filed by Wilderness Committee suggests the wolf cull was prompted by forest industry members opposed to giving up land leases for habitat protection efforts.
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2015 November
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2015 September

“Miley Cyrus confident science and sentiment coincide in battle against B.C. wolf cull”

International condemnation builds as singer Miley Cyrus travels to B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest with Pacific Wild to speak out against the war on wolves.
Learn More
2015 September
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2015 March

#‎SaveBCWolves‬ billboard advertisements hit the streets of Vancouver

Pacific Wild’s ad campaign was made possible thanks to more than 1,200 Indiegogo supporters.

2015 March
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2015 February

173,400 people from around the world sign our #SaveBCWolves petition

Over 60 Canadian and international signatories, including Pacific Wild, voice opposition in an open letter addressed to the B.C. Premier.

2015 February
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2015 January

“B.C. launches wolf hunt to save caribou”

Ministry of Environment documents describe the program as an “experimental” effort that might not work because resource development has affected caribou habitat so severely.
Learn More
2015 January

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