Golden’s Wildsight Chapter is known for the earth-friendly community initiatives it brings to the Columbia Valley and beyond, with its’ goal to maintain biodiversity and healthy human communities. The chapter recently supported an important conservation initiative a little further from home.
This autumn, Golden’s Wildsight branch made a very generous donation of $500 to support a research and outreach project undertaken by Golden’s own local Sadie Parr. Parr (from the group Just Beings – Wolf Conservation) is teaming up with the Valhalla Wilderness Society, Friends of Nemaiah Valley, and the Xeni Gwet’in community of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation in an effort to help foster coexistence among wolves, grizzly bears, wild horses, livestock and people. This informed advocacy project is underway in the remote and pristine Brittany Triangle and adjacent Nemaiah Valley of B.C.’s Chilcotin.
Parr has been travelling to the study area to search for and collect samples of hair and scat. These will be analysed to help identify what wolves are eating in this unique area, home to BC’s wild horses in Canada’s only Nemaiah Aboriginal and Wild Horse Preserve.
Through interviews of local First Nations she will also determine traditional knowledge of wolves in the study area that will supplement her research. Local ranchers, trappers, conservationists, government personnel and others will also be interviewed to determine people’s different perceptions about wolf ecology and conservation. The results of the study will be used to facilitate a better coexistence among wildlife and humans.
The research ties into a much larger project the groups are working on in the Chilcotin Region which is the 240,000 ha Dasiqox-Taseko Conservancy proposal for the area. Protecting this area as a large carnivore core conservation area would be significant on a continental scale. The quality of wolf and large carnivore habitat is largely determined by the attitudes of humans living in and around protected areas, which is one reason why accurate information about wolf feeding ecology is required in this region.
Parr is working to help establish Carnivore Coexistence Programs locally too, having presented to the Brisco Cattleman’s group and making a “Toolkit for Ranchers” available on-line for all livestock producers to access. The toolkit has been created for livestock producers who want to learn about methods they can use to prevent conflicts with wolves and other natural predators.