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biodiversity,  poisoning predators &
THE Government of Canada

With the government of Canada’s recent commitments to preserve biodiversity, we have an opportunity to end government predator-poison programs, which also bring death to many unintended animals including species at risk.

 

But public engagement is needed to make sure this happens.  Let's work together to ban Compound 1080 - a reckless poison.

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Compound 1080 causes death from secondary poisoning when scavengers ingest a poisoned carcass. Poison travelling through the food chain is also known as relay toxicity. Similarly, anticoagulants that are used to poison rodents also travel through the food chain, killing large mammals that ingest them, including wolves and mountain lions.
Background

Health Canada recently announced (June 2023) that the Government of Canada is “committed to ensuring responsible pesticide management across the country”. This entails three of Canada’s ministers (Health, Environment and Climate Change, and Agriculture and Agri-Food), engaging in dialogue for a “more sustainable approach”.

Much of this has been prompted by the biodiversity crisis our planet is facing, and recent national commitments that are globally prompted. One such commitment is the
2022 Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), which “aims to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. The Framework includes a focus on reducing the overall risk from pesticides by at least half by 2030”.

Canada’s 2030 National Biodiversity Strategy can also help to advance arguments to end predacide use in Canada. Predacides are the name for pesticides (poisons) that target
predators.

 

Opportunity

 

Given that wolves, and other top predators, are known to have an important role in maintaining species diversity and ecosystem health, these commitments should mean an end to government wolf-poison programs, which also bring death to many unintended animals including species at risk as well as rare and sensitive species.

 

Public engagement is needed to make sure this ‘no-brainer’ happens.

Although more natural landscape protection will undoubtedly be a critical factor in reaching these commitments, a ban on Compound 1080 would help bring Canada one step closer to preserving biodiversity and healthy ecosystems for all beings.

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Download a copy of the Rancher's Toolkit: Coexistence among Livestock, People and Wolves.

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Target 10

“Ensure that areas under agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries and forestry are
managed sustainably, in particular through the sustainable use of biodiversity, including through a substantial increase of the application of biodiversity friendly practices, such as sustainable intensification, agroecological and other innovative approaches,* contributing to the resilience and long-term efficiency and
productivity of these production systems, and to food security, conserving and restoring biodiversity and maintaining nature’s contributions to people, including
ecosystem functions and services.”

* Non-lethal conflict prevention among livestock and predators is more effective at reducing future conflicts than poisoning predators, and it is much safer for all living beings.

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Target 11

“Restore, maintain and enhance nature’s contributions to people, including ecosystem functions and services, such as the regulation of air, water and climate**, soil health, pollination and reduction of disease risk***, as well as protection from natural hazards and disasters, through nature-based solutions and/or ecosystem-based approaches for the benefit of all people and nature”.

**Top predators have been shown to help other species adapt to a changing climate.


***Wolves and other top predators play an important role in limiting the spread of disease, including prions such as Chronic Wasting Disease.

Two examples of relevant goals are outlined in the 2030 Targets and Guidance Notes of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, copied below (with asterisks added):

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This infographic shows species recorded as killed by strychnine during Alberta’s winter wolf-strychnine program 2005–2020. Out of 522 recorded kills by strychnine, 46.9% were  target animals (wolves, n = 245), while 53.1% were incidental kills of non-target organisms (n = 277), comprising ten mammal and four bird species.  Read more about this in a publication in Canadian Field-Naturalist.

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