Wolf Advisory – August 10th, 2013
Over this past week BC Parks has received numerous reports of close wolf encounters on Vargas Island.
A number of these reports indicate that one or more animal(s) is habituated and is looking for human food.
At this time it is imperative that all people going to Vargas Island be extremely mindful with how they store their food at night or during the day if camp is un-occupied. Food left unattended for even a brief time can be enough to entice wolves that are already highly habituated to people.
All park users should have a solid plan to securely store their food and should have the equipment and skills available to hang their food in the event food caches are full.
Further to this, following the steps below will help prevent wolves from habituating to humans and becoming food conditioned:
Space is safe
It is extremely important to discourage wolves from approaching people. The larger the space between you and the wolf, the safer it is for both you and the wolf.
If a wolf appears and acts unafraid, take the following action as soon as you notice the animal:
Remember: The wolves needs to know that you may be a threat to them.
Good Camping Ethics
It is extremely important that park visitors ensure all food and items smelling of food are stored out of reach of wildlife.
Please follow the above camping ethics when in wolf country and help keep wolves wild.
Recreating in Coastal Wolf habitat
It is common for wolves to feed on seal and sea lion carcasses that have washed up on the shores of the coastal islands. To allow natural feeding, BC Parks is asking all hikers, campers, and kayakers to avoid camping or hanging out at locations where a seal or sea lion carcass has washed ashore. As well, if in a vessel or kayak, do not approach wolves that are foraging along the coastline or swimming across channels. The fact that you are on a vessel or in a kayak will not eliminate the course of habituation.
Do not bring your dog. Dogs are a high level attractant to wolves and other large carnivores. Protect your pet – keep them at home.
BC Parks is still strongly advising park visitors to not bring their pets to Vargas Island and Flores Island Parks.
Please report wolf sighting to BC Parks staff; and report any wildlife - human interactions where public safety is at risk by dialing 24 hour hotline 1-877-952-7277.