More and more wolves seem to be causing trouble in the County of Grande Prairie, especially on the west side in the Goodfare Grazing Association area. Agricultural Fieldman Sonja Raven says that in addition to Alberta’s Fish and Wildlife officers, the County has specialists trained to deal with wildlife problems.
“We’ve had a number of reports of wolf activity harassing livestock. At this point I haven’t heard directly, but people have said that the wolves have been killing some livestock out in that area, so we just want producers to know that we are here to help them.”
The County is one of just a few municipalities that has a Damage Control Permit from the province. That means it is authorized to remove wolves, although how that’s done depends on the season.
Raven says solving the problem isn’t always as simple as setting traps or shooting random wolves. What’s most important is getting rid of the alpha female, who is the leader of the pack.
“Removed in a way that she basically just vanishes. The rest of the pack will congregate around her last known area which makes actually the rest of the pack quite easy to get rid of, but if you end up shooting her and she dies and the other wolves see it, their leader’s gone; then they fragment.”
More packs mean more puppies and a bigger problem for livestock producers. The County has two officers with special training and anyone with a problem is encouraged to contact the Community Services Building.