If the current Environment Canada long-range forecast is accurate, the local airport weather station will post a below average October precipitation total.
The local area has entered the final week of the month having recorded only 21.6 millimeters of rain and no snowfall, as compared to October norms of 13.3 millimeters and 19.6 centimeters, with an average precipitation of 30.8 millimeters.
This month’s numbers could signal an El Nino-driven drier than usual fall-winter period and among those concerned are ranchers, who are already reporting increases in predation, especially in the southeast interior of the province.
General Manager, Kevin Boone, of the BC Cattlemen’s Association, in an interview with CHNL in Kamloops, has confirmed ranchers are reporting evidence of cattle herd injuries consistent with wolf attacks, and he’s inclined to believe weather could be a factor.
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Under section 26 (2) of the Wildlife Act, wolves that are harassing or menacing livestock can be hunted or trapped on a person’s property.
However, those persons must comply with all municipal, provincial and federal laws surrounding the use and discharge of firearms or the setting of traps, and the killing or wounding of any wildlife, which remains the property of the government, must be reported.
Meantime, government compensation payments for losses to predators continue to be administered by the Ministry of Agriculture
However. again we note the Conservation Officer Service of the Ministry of Environment has the government lead in wild predator/livestock interaction files and will provide verification and mitigation services.
Ranchers are encouraged to report all suspected livestock losses to predators, to the COS, by calling the 24-hour toll-free number 1-877-952-7277.