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Newfoundland Nature Talk » Enviromental Debates » Moose problem - Bring back the wolf

Moose problem - Bring back the wolf

Gordie
Gordie

Posts: 0
Sightings: 25
I have been living away from The Rock for 12 years now, but I still follow the news. I get NTV here in Winnipeg. There is alot of talk going on about erecting moose fences along the highways to prevent moose and automobile collisions. Also, moose grazing is now having quite a noticable effect on vegetation. So I ask, why not bring back the wolf? It seems to me to be a perfectly logical way to deal with the large moose population. Wolves are not a new species to the island, it's just that they have been wiped out. Moose would be a great food supply for the wolves during the winter months. As this study shows, from 1999, that wolves will keep moose populations in check. This study was done by 4 scientists, one of them being from Newfoundland... http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991028070818.htm
NL Nature Support
NL Nature Support

Posts: 0
Sightings: 7

I don't diagree with the scientific research on ability to control moose population with their predators, I am just against us macromanaging nature. But I am definitely open to debate it...

Marnhull
Marnhull

Posts: 0
Sightings: 76
These introductions are very tricky. Moose were introduced to Newfoundland at times when the Newfoundland Wolf was still in Newfoundland. The wolf became extinct around 1930, while the moose prospered, as we all know. The first regular moose hunting season was in 1945. If wolves were introduced to Newfoundland, it would take decades before their population (maybe) reached the level to reduce (not likely - see above) the moose population.
In Yellowstone National Park, the coyote population was cut in half after the reintroduction of wolves 10-20 years ago. But whether the wolves killed the coyotes, or not, is still an open question. Those who feared the wolves would kill the indigenous bison in Yellowstone must be relieved. If you've been to Yellowstone, as I have, you literally have to keep your eyes open so you don't get run-down by one (or many) of them.
Much of the recent moose story in Newfoundland is media driven (they're looking for something to write about, and the more that people read a story, the more advertising the media can sell. That's their business. Nothing wrong with that). There's nothing new here: the number of moose-vehicle collisions, injuries, and deaths is constant over decades. Fencing is an okay idea, but drunk drivers are a much bigger problem.

Gordie
Gordie

Posts: 0
Sightings: 25

The reason the wolf didn't survive was because humans were constantly killing them off. If European settlers never arrived, there would be no moose, but there would be the wolf, still alive and well on The Island. The ignorance humans had towards the wolf was quite exceptional. There were even enviromentalists and naturalists that thought the wolf was an evil creature and had to be destroyed.

With todays understanding, I have no doubt that the wolf is the way to go. Yes, I know it will take years, even decades for the wolf to make an impact, but the we did the same with moose. We can introduce a species for us humans to hunt, but we won't introduce a species in order to save lives? Seems a little illogical to me.

If we let the wolf live and go about it's business then I am sure this program could be a success. I have already sent emails to Danny Williams and Charlene Johnson. I hope they listen.

Maybe we could use fences as a temporary fix while we are waiting for the wolf population to increase. Also, have a use for the fences for when they have to be takken down. eg baseball fields. At least that would help offset the cost of erecting these things.

Marcel Roy
Marcel Roy

Posts: 0
Sightings: 277
Historically, introducing new species or increasing them to control other species has often backfired. We should be looking at what other countries or provinces are doing or have done. Ontario has an abundance of moose and they do have programs in place to help control the population of moose. While I agree that the media does go all out to print collisions, I myself have seen quite a few moose in my area and travelling along the trans-Canada. Part of the problem is that people always seem to be in a hurry to get somewhere and ignore the warning signs that moose are in the area.
Gordie
Gordie

Posts: 0
Sightings: 25

The wolf is a species that helps greatly with the ecosystem it lives in. A few healthy wolf packs around the island would keep the moose population in check. I imagine most new born calves make it to maturity, unless killed in a traffic accident. Also the odd large male black bear might take a calf, but most will survive to become an adult. That is a major factor. The Island needs a predator that will regularily prey on moose. I really think this should be looked at more, even though the email I received form Ms. Johnson was not very encouraging.

 

CapeGannet
CapeGannet

Posts: 0
Sightings: 83
Although this does sound like a good idea to control our exploding moose population, it would not be a wise decision to reintroduce the wolf to the island. The reason being that the caribou population of Newfoundland is currently in decline due to a number of issues including illegal harvest, a nematode brain worm infestation within a number of herds of caribou, as well as predation by increasing Black Bear and Coyote populations. Reintroduction of the wolf would indeed help in reducing the moose population, however, increased predation of caribou by these predators would cause further declines in herd numbers. The caribou are currently having issues adapting to coyote predation, they do not need another large, and more aggressive, pack predator to contend with. As for the moose fencing, this would save a few lives, but in this situation the onus is on the driver of vehicles on our highways, I'm not going to say everyone stop driving after dark, but people really need to decrease their speed during the hours when moose are most active.
Gordie
Gordie

Posts: 0
Sightings: 25

I have started a Facebook group for this cause. I have also wrote letters to federal and provincial politicians. Ihe Telegram published the same letter.

Here is a link to the Facebook group for those that are interested...

 

http://www.facebook.com/#!/home.php?sk=group_138561499539198&ap=1

chrisfell
chrisfell

Posts: 0
Sightings: 1

Sure slow down...but I would likely have come very close or hit that moose I saw yesterday because I was coming around a bend. I was doing the speed limit (I think 50km). It made me paranoid the rest of the time going up hwy 90 as moose and deer can trot up from the ditch onto the road in an instant. Doesn't matter what speed I would have been doing. They're not too bright. It would have been best if the ecosystem was not tinkered with and now something has to be done with the fact that this large mammal with no predator (besides us) is flourishing and decimating some habitat. They can live here, sure, and after reading all the comments it doesn't sound like adding wolves is the answer. Wolves, as awesome and gorgeous as they are, would not only affect the caribou but also any livestock. The best answer would be more moose meat at the grocery store:) Ignore that all vegans. We already messed things up with putting moose here with no natural predator, so the lesser of the messes would be to increase the hunt numbers. As for fences, that's very expensive for the government (and therefore us) and would take a long time to implement. It takes no time to increase the number of hunting tags. 

DaveW
DaveW

Posts: 0
Sightings: 0
I think the discussion should not be limited to the practical issues facing people on the island.  That's how we mess up most natural environments in the first place.  The wolves have an inherent right to be there and the moose do not.  I think the wolf should definitely be reintroduced to help control the moose population and provide a more balanced ecosystem and people should find ways to live with both.  Gordie, I'll check out your facebook page.
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