Tag Archives: Nitya Harris

Origins of the Cortes Community Wolf Project

There was an increasing number of wolf sightings and encounters on Cortes Island during the closing months of 2008. A number of posts in the Tideline over the course of the next two years mention ‘an awful lot of them on the island, in an awfully short time.’ There were mixed reactions. A Squirrel Cove resident wrote that 15 ran through one of their neighbours yards at 4 AM. Someone had a ‘magical encounter’ with a large black wolf, standing on the foot bridge over the channel connecting Gunflint and Hague Lakes, as she paddled through with her canoe. Another resident reported that three wolves killed her dog, only 70 feet from her house.

More than 150 people gathered in the Linnaea School, on January 17, 2009, when Sabina Leader Mense brought in two experts to share their experiences with wolves.  Conservation Officer Ben York thanked the audience for bringing him in to discuss the situation, rather than put an animal down. He also stated that some of the wolves on Cortes ‘are very habituated’ and ‘˜there is a level of tolerance for these animals that is endangering them.’

The other expert was Bob Hansen, a wildlife/human conflict specialist in the Pacific Rim National Reserve.

Hansen was also one of the principle speakers at the recent Wildlife Coexistence Gathering on Cortes Island.  He explained that prior to receiving Sabina’s invitation, his attention was primarily focused on the Pacific Rim community.

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