Wildlife Sector Overview

AuthorElaine L. Hughes, Arlene J. Kwasniak, Alastair R. Lucas
Laura D Kumpf* and Elaine L Hughes
With 20 percent of the world’s wilderness located in Can ada, wildlife
management is required to en sure sustainable use of resources and
prevent wildlife from becoming enda ngered.1 For example, in Canada,
overhunting of bison nearly eradicated the specie s. The wood bison
dropped from an estimated population of 168,000 in 1800 to only 250
in 1893.2 In response, the government est ablished protected areas and
imposed restrictions on hunting.3 While the plains bison herds have
rebounded, the wood bison remain at ri sk.4
Wildlife is har vested through hunting and trapping for commercial
purposes, pest and population control, and recreation. In 2010, Statis-
tics Canada deter mined that f‌ishing, hunting, and trapping contr ibuted
just over $1 billion in chained dollars to Canad a’s GDP.5 Environment
* Laura Kumpf ( JD, Alberta) is a corporate law yer and associate in t he Edmonton
off‌ice of Miller Thomson L LP. She was a researc h assistant for this s ection during
her time as a law st udent at the University of Alber ta Faculty of Law.
1 Kate Smallwoo d, “A Guide to Canada’s Species at Risk Act ” (Vancouver: Sierra
Legal Defence Fund, 2003), online: www.sfu.ca/~amooers/scientists4species/
SARA _Guide_May2003.pdf .
2 Environment a nd Natural Resources. “NW T Wood Bison,” online: Government
of Northwest Terr itories www.nwtspeciesatrisk.ca/species/wood-bison.
3 Ibid.
4 Ibid.
5 Statistics C anada, “Gross Domestic Produc t at Basic Prices: Prim ary Industries,”
Table 379-0027, online: www.statcan.gc.ca /tables-tableaux /sum-som/l01/cst01/
prim03- eng.htm.
Canada states, “Dur ing any given year, an estimated six m illion Can-
adians participate in recreational hunting, f‌ishing, and t rapping.6 Can-
ada’s top game animals include black bear, caribou, cougar, deer, elk,
grizzly be ar, and moose.7 The fur trade is one of Canada’s oldest in-
dustries, and according to the Canadian Federation of Humane Soci-
eties, “Every year over one million animals are trapped in Can ada for
their fur”8 by approximately 60,000 trappers.9 The fur trade contrib-
utes more than $800 million annually to the Canadia n economy, and
42 percent of the $1.6 million received by provinces and terr itories in
royalties and licence fees are allocated to conservation programs.10
John Donihee describes t hree eras of wildlife ma nagement: game
management (Confederation to 1960s), transitional wildl ife management
(1960s to mid-1980s), and sustainable wildlife management.11 The aim
of game management was to control populations to protect game ani-
mals as a resource, and was focused on hunting and predatory, and
market hunting controls, with limited focus on habitat protection.12
Transitional wildli fe management extended beyond game animals and
included habitat protection, artif‌icial repleni shment of wildlife, and
more comprehensive hunting controls and a greater reliance on regul a-
tions.13 Sustainable wildlife man agement has an ecological focus, with
protection of the environment, species and thei r habitat, and biodivers-
ity, as well as stronger trade controls and laws inf‌luenced by inter-
national commitments and the recognition of Aboriginal and tre aty
While some provincial and ter ritorial statutes are more traditional,
many are incorporating new m anagement techniques, such as land-
based wildl ife management. Nunavut’s Wildlife Act15 incorporates t he
6 Environment Canad a, Planning for a Sustainable Future (Gatineau, QC: Environ-
ment Canada: 2010) at 25, online: ww w.ec.gc.ca/dd-sd /F93CD795-0035-4DAF-
86D1-5309 9BD303F9/ FSDS _v4_EN.p df.
7 Canada Wi lderness, “Canadia n Big Game Animals,” online: Ca nada Wilderness
8 Canadian Federation of Hum ane Societies (CFHS), “Fur,” online: http://cf hs.ca/
wi l d / f u r/.
9 Canadian Federat ion of Humane Societies (CFHS), “What Is Trapping?,” online:
http://cfhs.ca /wild/what _is_trapping.
10 Ibid.
11 John Donihe e, The Evolution of Wildlife Law in Canada, Occa sional Paper #9
(Calgary: Can adian Institute of Resou rces Law, 2000) at vii.
12 Ibid at 14.
13 Ibid at 15.
14 Ibid a t 17.
15 SNu 2003, c 26.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT