Human-Wildlife Conflict Prevention
Humans have profoundly impacted wildlife and the environment. We need to develop a better understanding of the broader factors contributing to human-wildlife conflicts, including climatic factors, land use, agricultural practices and wildlife management initiatives.
Human-wildlife conflicts are best described as interactions among humans and wildlife when the actions negatively impact one, the other or both. Conflicts vary depending on where they take place, time of year and type of wild species.
The increase in both urban and rural development to accommodate Canada’s population has resulted in a greater number of interactions with wildlife.
Animal Alliance is committed to innovative, effective, humane and non-lethal solutions to human-wildlife conflicts. We are currently working on a number of human-wildlife conflict issues, including:
Beavers play a critical role in maintaining or improving ecosystem biodiversity. Many species, some endangered or threatened, rely on beavers and the landscapes they engineer.
In many cases, the most pressing issue regarding beavers is not how to manage their populations, but rather how to minimize conflict between humans and beavers. There are many ways to manage conflicts effectively, humanely and safely, while protecting beavers for the benefits they bestow to the environment.
This is a manual with the most current and widely accepted tools to allow wildlife managers to maintain beavers and their contribution to healthy ecosystems, while mitigating conflict and assuring public safety.
Saskatchewan’s beaver bounty is a good example of a controversial effort to control the beaver population (click here for a 2016 CBC article). We encourage those who are upset with the killing contest to contact the Premier, Scott Moe.
The Honourable Scott Moe
Premier of Saskatchewan
226 Legislative Building
Regina, SK S4S 0B3
Hunting / Trapping / Poisoning:
The Alberta and Saskatchewan governments use toxic poisons, Strychnine and Compound 1080 to kill wildlife when they come in conflict with humans. They are the last two provinces in Canada using these draconian substances. With your help, we will fight to stop these governments from using these poisons.
In addition, the federal Pest Management Regulatory Agency reviews restricted products like Strychnine and Compound 1080. The agency fails to consider the cruel nature of the poison, the matter of secondary poisoning and the broader and long term impacts of the poison on the environment. We intend to engage the Agency regarding the obvious inadequacies of the review and approval process.
Animal Alliance continues to work with municipalities across Canada in an effort to end hunting and trapping as a solution to human-wildlife conflict issues. If there is a conflict in your area, please contact us today.
Animal Alliance has worked with many organizations and government officials to develop a humane, non-lethal approach to human-geese conflicts.
Animal Alliance has developed a Habitat Modification & Canada Geese manual to provide information on the habitat needs and natural deterrents of Canada Geese in urban environments. Habitat modification through natural landscaping techniques offers both an ecological and humane means of reducing human-goose conflicts in urban, suburban and even agricultural environments.
The Canadian Wildlife Service’s brochure titled Canada Geese and Farms suggest habitat modification as a mitigation measure. The brochure suggests that the farmer “focus efforts on the area between cultivated land and ponds or other wetlands. Create natural barriers of trees, brush and shrubs around ponds, wetlands and streams. If you have a pond, avoid creating islands or peninsulas which are ideal nesting sites for geese.”
Organizations, such as GeesePeace provide conflict resolution measures. GeesePeace is dedicated to building better communities though innovative, effective and humane solutions to wildlife conflicts.
The Habitat Modification & Canada Geese manual is available to all interested parties (for manual appendicies, click here). The manual features numerous case studies in locations in USA and Canada that have implemented habitat modification practices.
Twenty years ago the Humane Society of the United States and the Animal Protection Institute (now Born Free USA) co-published a booklet called A Critical Evaluation of the Proposed Reduction in the Mid-Continent Lesser Snow Geese Population to Conserve Sub-Arctic Salt Marshes of Hudson Bay.
This is a 20th anniversary Addendum Update to that document, now converted into electronic form. The original document was co-authored by Dr. Vernon Thomas and Barry Kent MacKay. Most of the writing of the Evaluation was done by Dr. Thomas, who is to be congratulated for his courage in challenging the conventional wisdom that these goose populations are “overabundant” and damaging the arctic and subarctic ecosystems.
Double-crested Cormorants are native waterbirds who nest in colonies. Numbers were dramatically reduced in the late 1800s due to hunting. As a result of protection, cormorant populations began to recover in the early 1950s, but impact from toxic chemicals such as DDT again reduced their numbers to 125 nesting pairs in 1973.
From the 1970s to present day, cormorant numbers are returning to those of pre-persecution days, a success story for sure. But now wildlife management agencies across North America are calling the cormorant population “overabundant” and “unnatural”.
Animal Alliance has joined with a coalition of organizations to stop the continent-wide lethal management of cormorants. The ongoing slaughter of cormorants in Ontario is especially troublesome.
From the time Europeans settled North America, coyotes have been persecuted. They have thrived despite organized attempts to eradicate them in the first half of the 20th century. Governments offered bounties and funded extensive coyote “control” programs. Farmers even poisoned dead livestock and left them for the coyotes to eat.
Animal Alliance has worked to reduce human-coyote conflicts through education and non-lethal intervention programmes, specifically in communities such as Sarnia, Toronto and Ottawa.
Stanley Gehrt, an associate professor at Ohio State University, has been studying coyote behavior in urban Chicago for over 12 years. As a coyote expert, he has written about human-coyote conflicts and how they can be resolved. A document titled Urban Coyote Ecology and Management provides an excellent overview of coyotes and conflict resolution possibilites.
In spite of our recommendations, in November 2009, Saskatchewan introduced a coyote bounty, paying residents $20 if they produced four paws of a killed coyote. In February 2010, the government announced 18,000 coyotes were killed, about one half of their target number.
In spite of biologists and conservationists providing evidence to the contrary, then Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud believed the bounty was necessary. For a May 2010 article, click here.
Organizations, such as the Born Free USA united with the Animal Protection Institute, have researched this issue extensively. For an overview, visit http://www.bornfreeusa.org/articles.php?p=1139&more=1
We need to keep pressure on the Premier of Saskatchewan, the Honourable Scott Moe. Please mail and call the Premier, politely asking him to make progressive advancements in his province. Hand-written letters are best but you can also email him: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Honourable Scott Moe
Premier of Saskatchewan
226 Legislative Building
CANADA S4S 0B3
Deer are under attack by wildlife managers throughout North America. Persistent human encroachment into deer habitat has resulted in much conflict between deer and people. Governments claim, without scientific data, that deer populations are “overabundant”.
Consequently, wildlife managers advocate that more deer be killed during hunting season and that hunting seasons be extended. They advocate culling of deer in parks and protected areas and they advocate hunting in urban settings were deer habituate urban river valleys and green spaces. The deer hunt in Short Hills Park in Ontario and the ongoing campaigns in British Columbia are but two examples of this misguided policy.
Animal Alliance has actively opposed all lethal management of deer through municipal councils and provincial governments.
Below are three PDF files with important information about deer:
- Wounding rates deer and bow hunting 1998
- Indirect Effects of a Keystone Herbivore Elevate Local Animal Diversity
- Dispersal of Trillium seeds by Deer: Implications for Long-Distance Migration of Forest Herbs
Help us encourage communities that are experiencing conflict to implement a non-lethal human/wildlife conflict resolution strategy. Join Animal Alliance today!