Added Protection for Wolves of Algonquin Park

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The McGuinty government is acting decisively to protect the wolves of Algonquin Provincial Park, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced today.

"It's vital to the people of Ontario that their wildlife is protected," said Ramsay. "Today we are taking real, positive action to help ensure Ontarians will hear the howls of the wolves of Algonquin in the future."

The province is proposing a permanent ban on hunting and trapping wolves and coyotes in the park and in townships surrounding the park. The proposal would also ban chasing wolves or coyotes with dogs, both in the park and in townships surrounding the park. It will be posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Registry for 30 days.

The minister was joined for today's announcement in Toronto by Monte Hummel of the World Wildlife Fund, Gregor Beck of Ontario Nature and Jean Langlois of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS).

"Having been involved in this issue for 20 years now, especially by supporting research on Algonquin wolves, the World Wildlife Fund feels Minister Ramsay has definitely made the right decision here," said Mr. Hummel. "After all, what would Algonquin Park be without the call of the loon and the howl of the wolf?"

"We are thrilled by this announcement," said Langlois. "It demonstrates a sound appreciation of the essential role of wolves in the Algonquin ecosystem."

The ministry is also proposing that the Eastern Wolf be added to the new list of Species at Risk in Ontario as a species of Special Concern, which is consistent with its national designation. The new Species at Risk in Ontario list will be posted on the EBR for 30 days.

Today's announcement reconfirms the government's commitment to conserving wolves across Ontario. As part of that commitment, the Ministry of Natural Resources will be developing a provincial wolf management strategy. To ensure the sustainability of the wolves in and around Algonquin Park, the wolf research and monitoring program will also continue.

Algonquin Provincial Park is the largest protected area for the Eastern Wolf in North America. In 2001, the Ministry of Natural Resources established a short-term moratorium on regulated hunting and trapping of wolves in townships surrounding Algonquin Provincial Park. That moratorium was set to expire on June 30 of this year.