Letter to the Editor: Parks Canada, Protecting Wildlife?

At what point did Parks Canada develop such a callous disregard for the lives of living creatures? Moose, cormorants, deer, elk, coyote, wolves and other creatures have all caught the eye of Parks Canada management at various times. Recently, in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, a prescribed fire was scheduled to take place.

Still from Parks Canada video "Banff National Park Regeneration" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxGyFaiBIzs

Still from Parks Canada video “Banff National Park Regeneration

In a CBC news interview, the Parks Canada fire ecologist stated that there were about 79 species of birds in the nearby area. When asked if they could be affected by the fire, his casual reply was none of them was “rare,” and that adults could “adjust” and probably have a second brood in another location. Apparently, no consideration was given to the killing of baby birds or moles, snakes, salamanders and other small creatures who live on the forest floor. The reason given for the burn was to try to promote growth of certain tree species, but no compelling reason was given to justify unnecessary killing. Thankfully, the full burn was cancelled after one or more attempts, because conditions weren’t right — one would think they would have known that before the burn!

Somehow, this attitude of Parks Canada towards protected wildlife is not surprising to me. After all, 122+ moose have been indiscriminately killed on North Mountain in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park since 2015. Parks Canada management state it is because moose are determined to be ‘hyperabundant’, by more than 15 years of study. However, in my research thus far I have been unable to find compelling data that would prove moose are hyperabundant and are singularly destroying the boreal forest. What I have found instead is problematic data, flawed science and numerous inconsistencies.

On a Parks Canada website for Waterton Lakes National Park it states:

Ending an animal’s life is always a last resort and is not a decision that we take lightly. Our staff work hard to protect wildlife and ecological integrity within the national park.

Shouldn’t that practice be followed in ALL of our National Parks?


Rose Courage
Sydney, NS


Featured image: Parks staff lighting a prescribed fire at La Mauricie National Park (Source: Parks Canada)






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