Province Wide Protection for Wolves Proposal

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The McGuinty government is proposing to enhance the conservation of Ontario wolves through the first province-wide wolf strategy and through regulations to limit wolf hunting, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced.

"Our aim is to conserve, monitor and protect wolf populations across the province and ensure that the wolf continues to play a key role in Ontario ecosystems," said Ramsay. "This is the first time province-wide regulations have been proposed to limit wolf hunting in Ontario. With these changes, we are building on the steps already taken to protect the eastern wolf in the Algonquin Provincial Park area."

The proposed wolf strategy includes:

* Developing and implementing a research and monitoring program to determine the status of wolf populations in Ontario

* Requiring wolf and coyote hunters in selected wildlife management units (WMUs) in central and Northern Ontario, to purchase a special game seal, in addition to a small game licence and limiting the number of game seals to two per hunter per year

* Requiring mandatory reporting by hunters about wolf and coyote hunting and harvest in WMUs in central and Northern Ontario

* Implementing a closed season for wolf and coyote hunting and trapping from April 1 to September 14 in WMUs in central and Northern Ontario.

Earlier this year the province banned the hunting, trapping and chasing of wolves and coyotes in and around Algonquin Provincial Park - the largest protected area for the eastern wolf in North America. The province has also recently designated the eastern wolf as `special concern' on the Species at Risk list.

The ministry is posting the strategy and the proposed regulation changes to the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry for 40 days in two postings. The proposals can be viewed on the registry at the following website, by entering Registry Number PB04E6020.