Stop Ottawa's War on Wildlife

Stop Ottawa's War on Wildlife
Posted on June 1, 2013 | Adele Brand | Written on June 1, 2013
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Letter type:
Open

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

I decided to write this letter because after years of experiences watching wildlife, living with wildlife, and watching what happens when people don't tolerate wildlife, I believe its time to modernize our urban wildlife management policies.

I was very disappointed to hear that Ottawa has failed to take the opportunity to create a progressive wildlife strategy for Canada's capital. I am a British MSc ecology graduate who has spent much of the last ten years researching and observing Canada's natural heritage, and witnessing the challenges of urban wildlife first hand.

Such issues are not, however, unique to Ottawa. Cities across the world are facing similar questions, and many have adopted a far more humane and scientifically-focussed approach, often in difficult circumstances. What message does Ottawa send to Nairobi and Mumbai (which have urban leopards) or to villages in southern Gujarat (wolves, Asiatic lions and striped hyenas) or to the ranchers of the Brazilian Pantanal (coexisting with jaguars), or even the 'living with coyotes' projects in western provinces when you refuse to tolerate geese and raccoons?

Wildlife is not always an easy neighbour. At times there is damage, and very rarely there may be concerns over human safety. But these issues cannot be resolved by more traps. If anything, lethal control will make conflicts worse by offering false security - without dealing with the root causes of the problem. Education and prevention are the only true solutions.

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Comments

Excellent letter Adele. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this very important topic. I agree with you, Ottawa's wildlife policies are archaic.

Alex Hunter

Adele Your passion is a light House in the field of wildlife conflict prevention most community and public forums are in the same present fix.

Ottawa is in the forefront in getting progressive about Deer proofing harriers on rural roads only the province of B.C are ahead on Wildlife policy.