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Minimizing Wolf Habituation

Posted on May 31, 2016 at 3:24 PM
Info from BC Parks is 1st `Comment`, I was unable to post the article directly.

Categories: Animal Activity

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Reply Forwarded from BC Parks
7:43 PM on May 31, 2016 
BC Parks and Conservation Officer Service

Vargas Island Park Wolf Advisory – May 03/16 to current

BC Parks continues to receive reports of high wolf activity on Vargas Island. Reports indicate that wolves are showing interest in food belonging to campers on Vargas Island and are frequently coming close to campsites.

Of particular concern is the fact that the wolves have learned how to remove kayak hatch covers and access the hatch contents. In order to immediately stop this habituation behaviour it will be critical for all kayakers to remove food from hatches and leave the hatch open. Turning the kayak over and thus making the hatches inaccessible is also recommended.

As well, due to the high frequency of wolves coming very close to campsites BC Parks is advising against campers sleeping outside of tents.

Visitors going to Vargas Island or other near-by coastal islands should take into consideration that wolves are large animals and could be aggressive in some circumstances.

Safety Precautions if you see a wolf:
• Begin scare tactic immediately, well before the wolf is within 100 metres. Do not allow the wolf to approach any closer than 100 metres.
• Raise your arms and wave them in the air to make yourself appear larger. Use noise makers (i.e. air horns), throw sticks, rocks and sand at the wolf, to scare wolves away.
• When in a group, act in unison to send a clear message to the wolves they are not welcome.
• If the wolf displays aggressive behaviour, back away slowly, do not turn your back on the wolf.
• Use pepper spray if you have it and the skills to use it safely. Be aware of the range and operating conditions of the product you are using.

Good Camping Ethics
It is extremely important that park visitors ensure all food and items smelling of food are stored out of reach of wildlife. Please follow these when in wolf country and help keep wolves wild (and alive).
• Keep a clean and orderly camp. Cook away from sleeping areas.
• Suspend food, kitchen equipment, toiletries, garbage and other loose objects on a rope between trees out of reach of wildlife, or in provided food caches.
• Do not bury garbage. If you pack it in - pack it out!
• Wash dishes in a container and dispose of grey water at sea, away from your camping area.
• Use the provided toilets.
• Do not clean fish next to your camp; dispose fish carcasses out to sea if possible.
• Never feed wolves or any wildlife. Feeding wildlife is an offence.

Recreating in Coastal Wolf Habitat
• Wolves feed on seal and sea lion carcasses that wash up on shore. Do not camp or recreate near these carcasses.
• Do not approach wolves that are foraging along the coastline or swimming across channels. The fact that you are on a vessel or in a kayak will not eliminate the course of habituation.
• Dogs are a high level attractant to wolves and other large carnivores. Protect your pet – keep them at home.

Please report any human-wildlife interactions where public safety is at risk by dialing 24 hour hotline

Please report all wolf sightings to BC Parks staff at:

250-725-2149 or 250-954-4618

More information can be found at:

Thank you and enjoy your stay in BC Parks!

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