The need for the management of wolves — an open letter

  • Arthur T. Bergerud 1233 Isabella Road, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada
Keywords: adaptive management, balance of nature, critical habitat, caribou extinction, density dependent, population regulation, predator management, wolf predation


The Southern Mountain and Boreal Woodland Caribou are facing extinction from increased predation, predominantly wolves (Canis lupus) and coyotes (Canis latrans). These predators are increasing as moose (Alces alces) and deer (Odocoileus spp). expand their range north with climate change. Mitigation endeavors will not be sufficient; there are too many predators. The critical habitat for caribou is the low predation risk habitat they select at calving: It is not old growth forests and climax lichens. The southern boundary of caribou in North America is not based on the presence of lichens but on reduced mammalian diversity. Caribou are just as adaptable as other cervids in their use of broadleaf seed plant as forage. Without predator management these woodland caribou will go extinct in our life time.

How to Cite
Bergerud, A. T. (2007). The need for the management of wolves — an open letter. Rangifer, 27(4), 39-50.