The bi-annual Carnivore Conference was held in November in Denver, Colorado. Hosted by Defenders of Wildlife, a Thompson delegation representing Spirit Way Inc., Thompson Unlimited and University College of the North presented the plans for Thompson to be known as the Wolf Capital of Canada.
Over 500 attendees participate in over 210 different presentations on all aspects of carnivore conservation, restoration, management and other issues that involved federal and state agencies, wildlife organizations, legal interests, cattle ranchers, farmers, animal parks, preserves, and interested individuals. For the Thompson group it was an eye-opener of the complexities in the USA to find the balance to protect everyone’s interests. Of course, the challenge is to create effective policies for conservation management when science and politics can be at odds.
In Northern Manitoba, there are no major human/wolf conflict issues as in many populated regions around the world. The wolf population in Northern Manitoba is abundant. Yet new roads, hydro dams, hydro transmission corridors are being planned that may impact wolves and the prey/predator balance. Therefore, it is important to determine what the baseline data is for wolves so proper wolf management policies can be considered and/or implemented in the future.
Michelle Moayeri, a University of Manitoba grad student, has started a two year research study into the effects of hydro corridors on wolf movement and the impact on caribou or moose populations. Many other topics of wolf research could be undertaken relating to biology, Aboriginal ecological knowledge, social sciences, human attitudes, etc. Thompson is inviting American and Canadian universities and research agencies to explore the possibilities and look at using this pristine wilderness boreal forest environment for wolf study. The opportunities for research are fascinating.
Currently Thompson is communicating with an organization in the United States and another in Mexico to develop a wolf art and cultural project through 3 cities in 3 countries. The theme would be “Wolves Without Borders” and a promotion campaign could be launched in the spring of 2010. It would a wonderful way to launch a unique campaign that would draw positive attention to wolves and how cities and countries can work together to present a positive story to the public. There will be more announcements coming in a few months at this blog site.
Spirit Way is currently working on several initiatives with several partners:
– Developing the Wolf Capital of Canada theme
– Developing our local University College of the North as a Wolf Center of Excellence
– Calling for the first ever wolf research studies to be undertaken in the wilderness of northern Manitoba
– Hosting an invitational Wolf Research Symposium in 2010
– Twinning our city with one in the USA and Mexico to launch a “Wolves without Borders” art and culture theme
– Linking Thompson as Wolf Capital with the Polar Bear Capital of the World in Churchill, Manitoba
– Working with the Thompson Zoo to develop a larger and enhanced Wolf Park
Please contact us if any of the above are of interest to you.
Have a Happy New Year!