Addendum to "Managing wolves (Canis lupus) to recover threatened woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in Alberta"
Canadian Journal of Zoology
Managing predators to restore threatened or endangered species is often controversial. Hervieux et al. (2014; Can. J. Zool. 92(12): 1029-1037) report on the efficacy of wolf (Canis lupus L., 1758) reduction as a recovery strategy in the Little Smoky population of boreal woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou (Gmelin, 1788)) range in Alberta, which generated a lot of media attention. As such, the authors were invited by the journal editor who handled the original paper to write this
... write this addendum to provide clarification regarding the methodology used in the original paper. Wolf reduction was conducted by Government personnel in accordance with appropriate policy and laws (i.e., federal and provincial Species at Risk Acts; Alberta Wildlife Act; Alberta Woodland Caribou Policy). University-based researchers were involved only in data analysis and writing, and thus did not require approval by a university-based animal welfare board. Collaboration between independent university-based scientists and government biologists is essential to effective assessment of such controversial management practices. Hervieux et al. (2014; Can. J. Zool. 92(12): 1029-1037) in fact concluded that such wolf reductions, by themselves, would only "buy time" and would not restore woodland caribou alone without effective habitat protection.