The War On Wolves by Chris Genovali and Camilla Fox

What a terrific article by Chris Genovali, executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Camilla Fox, executive director of Project Coyote. It’s a must read!

They absolutely nailed it, describing the culture of death that’s destroying our wolves and other apex predators and diminishing their quality of life. It’s hard enough being a wolf without having to endure the continuing persecution and destruction of their families by humans. We need a top down change in wildlife “management”.

Thanks Jon for supplying the link!


Death Cults Among Us

The War on Wolves

By Chris Genovali and Camilla Fox

The world-renowned Royal Canadian Mint recently announced its new silver coin series, which is dedicated to wildlife in Canada; the initial offering features a wolf on the $5 denomination. Although the wildlife dedication is laudable, the irony of this announcement is inescapable given the level of persecution wolves endure across the country.

This is especially the case in the western province of British Columbia where an estimated 800 wolves are killed annually, primarily for the frivolous entertainment of hunters and trappers. The province takes a laissez faire approach in administering the hunting and trapping of wolves in BC, which is based simply on the reproductive potential of the species, and shockingly, without knowledge of wolf numbers. In addition, BC wolves are regularly subjected to government-sanctioned culls and lethal predator control actions.

Canadians love the iconography of big wildlife, like wolves, grizzly bears and cougars. Unfortunately, this fascination with animal symbolism fails to translate into policies that further the conservation and welfare of these large carnivores.

But the disconnect between symbolic adoration and on-the-ground reality isn’t limited to Canada; the phenomenon is clearly North American-wide.

With state wildlife managers having proposed the perversely titled “conservation hunts” for wolves in Montana and Idaho, government administrators in the Northern Rockies are approaching the same level of disingenuousness and depravity as Japanese policy makers who have perpetuated the truly Orwellian concept of “scientific whaling.” Fortunately, Montana’s request to hunt endangered gray wolves has just been turned down by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; not that the federal agency is opposed to the sport hunting of wolves, of course, but because in their estimation the Montana proposal would not survive a legal challenge.

The ongoing exploitation of wolves in Montana and Idaho strikes a chord amongst wildlife advocates in Canada as the wolves targeted for extermination originate from north of the 49th parallel. Many Canadians had a sense that, on balance, NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) was likely going to be a net loss for Canada in a variety of ways, but had no idea that free trade meant allowing Canadian wolves to be exported to the Northern Rockies and then subjected to the fear and loathing of reactionary American ranchers and sportsmen’s groups, as well as regressive Intermountain West government agencies.

If Canadians wanted to persecute their wolves, there was no need to ship them south; Canis lupus is sufficiently under siege in the “great white north,” with provincial governments scapegoating wolves for everything from the precipitous decline of mountain caribou to the near-extinction of the Vancouver Island marmot.

The aforementioned points reflect a disturbing but common trait among provincial, state and federal “environmental” agencies in jurisdictions throughout North America – specifically, an obsessive predilection that drives wildlife managers to reflexively default to the oxymoronic tactic of conservation-by-killing. Given the evidence (i.e., the body count), coming to the conclusion that government agencies which “manage” wildlife essentially operate as death cults is not difficult. Countless policies are designed to harm or kill wildlife, particularly large carnivores. The euphemisms used to describe and camouflage such killing – e.g., “cull”, “harvest,” “control” – speak volumes about the underpinning philosophy (i.e., the so-called North American Wildlife Management Model) of these agencies.

Raincoast Conservation Foundation large carnivore scientists Drs. Paul Paquet and Chris Darimont have written that “wolves have complex social traits . . . they are keenly sensitive and caring animals and are known to mourn for extended periods when a group member is killed. Hunting of wolves by humans likely has severe ecological effects that are difficult for scientists to study and may take generations to become evident.”

The direct killing of wolves, whether by trophy hunting, trapping, or lethal control, is a harsh addition to the numerous and significant challenges Canis lupus already faces in a human-dominated landscape.

In their seminal new paper,Wildlife conservation and animal welfare: two sides of the same coin?,” published earlier this year in the journal Animal Welfare, Paquet and Darimont write that “In most parts of North America where wolves persist, human disturbance has already, or is now, displacing wolves from favourable habitat. Additional disturbances, additive to current background disruption, may surpass the level of habituation or innate behavioural plasticity that allows wolves to cope with human encroachment.”

The recreational and institutional killing of wolves also adds to the myriad human activities Paquet (also an advisor to Project Coyote) and Darimont describe as creating a diminishment of the species’ quality of life:

“Given a choice, wolves prefer to avoid humans. However, extensive and growing convergence of human activity and wolf habitat has seriously compromised the availability and effectiveness of wolf habitat worldwide, reducing the distribution of wolves to a fraction of their original geographic range. Accordingly, disruptions resulting from human influence combined with unrelenting and lethal antipathy have created an impoverished environment that may not sustain surviving wolf populations into the future. Fuller et al (2002) summarize all the various means by which humans purposely cause harm and (typically, but not always) death to wolves. These include but are not limited to aerial hunting, deadfall traps, large fishhooks, guns, poisoning, snares, and traps. If wolves do persist, we wonder what diminished quality of life must be endured to survive in a human-dominated landscape.”

We are at a pivotal time in our planet’s history with regard to species diversity and conservation in the face of ever-increasing human expansion and exploitation of what remains of “nature.” How we conserve large carnivores – and in particular wolves, which have been such an iconographic species for so long- may bode to the future of how we are able to coexist with other sentient beings with whom we share this earth- and ultimately with each other.

Chris Genovali is executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation. Camilla Fox is executive director of Project Coyote.

Photo: Courtesy

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: wolf persecution, culture of death, wildlife “mismanagement”, Canada, US

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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Immersive a great article,
    Thanks for sharing


    • Hi Filozof,
      It was great to share it…bravo to the authors!



  2. Great article.Thank you, Nabeki and Jon,for the posting.


    • You’re welcome Rita, of course the people that really need to read it never will, not only that, they have no concept about what it means.



      • Dear Nabeki i totally agree with you ignorance is a huge problem to all the people who fight and kill the Wolfs. They dont care they dont want they can not understand…
        Congrats for sharing this with us congrats Nabeki and Jon…


      • We just have to keep moving forward Vasileios in defense of wolves. Trying to talk to people that are so intolerant of wolves is a waste of time.

        It was a great article and needed to be said. Death cults indeed!!



  3. Very good article. It’s a shame the wolf haters can’t see this, this is beyond their comprehension. Nabeki the other day when you made your comments, under the “Whose not compromising section on Ralphs blog, Jerry Black posted the Mainehunting today article on the failed wolf hate bill Peay (for the benefit of all americans) was trying to sneak through, I made some comments on Remington’s site. The reactions are so ridiculous, they think these hunts are all about their freedom! I was going to engage them but I thought why bother, these people can’t be reasoned with. If only they knew how unimpressed I am with the ignorance. I would prefer having a root canal procedure at the dentist rather than trying to have a logical and reasonable debate with them. I didn’t bother telling them that my best friend lives in alaska and is a biologist, and that i have spent at least a couple of years watching and observing wolves as they raise young and protect their territories. It is so frustrating i can’t begin to tell you.


    • William, I understand your frustration so well. I constantly think of the damage we are doing to our wildlife and the factory farm animals we use and abuse. It breaks my heart knowing we are making life so hard for wolves, killing their babies, hunting and maiming them in the cruelest of ways. It reminds me of Lobo and Blanca. The hatred that brought them down is the same incomprehensible thinking that’s going on today. Seton at least realized what he had become and what he’d done. The culture of death that surrounds wolves now is as evil as it was back in Seton’s day. The total lack of empathy is frightening. I think often of what terrible tortures befall wolves and our other native carnivores at the hands of these killers of beauty. The photo in Predatory Bureacuracy keeps flashing through my mind of those two doomed wolves, one laying it’s head on the other, awaiting their horrible fate. I can only wonder how they became the way they are and what drives them to want to maim and take the life of an animal that has every right to live out their life in peace?

      The only answer is a complete change of “wildlife management”. Environmentalists must work to stop the wanton killing of not only predators but our native wildlife. Seeing Wildlife (Dis)Services defunded would be a great first step.



      • I’ve never seen this country so divided. You have these constitutional scholars like Miller in Alaska saying how unemployment insurance is unconstitutional, after his own wife collected benefits! Now because the ESA isn’t specifically mentioned in the constitution these yahoos think they will change everything. We are entering a scary time with our politics


      • Scary times william, scary times. We need to fight with everything we have to keep the haters from gutting the ESA. If any animal deserves it’s protection, it’s the wolf.



  4. Our current society throws around the phrase,”Our Freedom”,way to much and not really knowing what it truly means or appreciate it.Freedom to them just means I get to do what I want to do and if I can’t do it ,someone is taking my freedom away.They are children,but worse. They do not want to be told what or how to do it.They just want to.I sure hope I get to see wolves before I go but it will be more of a shame if my grandson never got the chance.


  5. Logically the only reason to kill a wolf would be in self-defence. Not as a pre-emptive strike or out of revenge for whatever reason may be brought up. Example: livestock and pet losses.

    Emotionally, to kill any animal simply to get entertainment from the activity is well below the morality of our modern civilisation. The psuedo-science known as ‘wildlife management’ is not moulded to the benefit of wildlife preservation nor to provide a means of ‘compromise’ with hunting and non-hunting public or to provide a means for public education of hunted species. It is number crunching to provide maximum yield for the leisure of a fading special interest group and, as a consequence, the consistent acquisition of profit for affiliated parties. Hunting/trapping exists today as an ultimately worthless activity, modern barbarism under the guise of an obsolete means of survival.


    • You pretty much said it all John. Barbarism!



  6. Nabeki, thanks so much for posting this incredible article, but as pointed out the people who really need to read the article and understand what they are destroying a) will not read it and b) wouldn’t care anyway. I am in Atlanta and have been telling friends here what is going on with wolves and wildlife in general. It simply amazes me when people say “I had no idea”. As I said to each one, well you know now so get involved and let your voices be heard. Sadly, I think only one of the five friends will in fact do so.


    • SoCalWolfGal,Even if you have one out of five,is still good, at least you planted words worthy of attention and just by making them think about it and it might yield fruitation.Not everyone gets moved as fast as we would like.


    • You’re so welcome SoCalWolfGal…..I know what you mean about telling friends and thinking that they’ll get involved. Then they disappoint.



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