Province asking residents to not start winter feeding program of Ungulates

Must Read

Smoky Skies Bulletin issued Friday for Peace River South

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. - Environment Canada has issued another Smoky Skies Bulletin for Peace River South. According to Environment...

Three new cases of COVID-19 identified in Northern Health Region

VICTORIA, B.C. – Three new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Friday, bringing the total in the Northern Health...

Economic recovery plan has “next to nothing” for British Columbians, says Wilkinson

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. - The Provincial Government released its COVID-19 economic recovery plan on Thursday, and B.C. Liberal...
Adam Reaburnhttps://energeticcity.ca/
Adam moved to Fort St. John in 2004 and he now owns both Moose FM and Energeticcity.ca

VICTORIA, B.C. – Members of the public are being asked to carefully consider the risks of starting a winter feeding program for wild ungulates. Ungulates are hoofed mammals and include elk, moose, deer and sheep.

Decades of scientific research have shown that winter feeding programs can have serious negative consequences for ungulates. Ungulates, as ruminants, have food requirements that vary seasonally. It takes weeks for the bacteria in their digestive tract to adapt to changes in diet. A sudden shift from natural winter forage to supplemental feed can result in sickness or death.

Other risks of supplemental winter feeding include increased conflicts with communities, damage to important winter habitat, and higher risk of parasite and disease transmission. In addition, high densities of ungulates at feeding sites attract predators, which can increase ungulate mortality and human-predator conflicts.

- Advertisement -

Wildlife managers must carefully weigh the pros and cons before implementing a wild ungulate feeding program. Clear criteria must be met prior to feeding (e.g., critical snow depths, poor ungulate body condition) and programs should address specific management objectives, such as drawing animals away from agricultural areas and roadways. Any benefits of these programs are typically small-scale and have little impact on overall wildlife populations.

Protecting and enhancing natural habitats and avoiding disturbance during winter are better ways to ensure the long-term sustainability of ungulate populations. Animals that enter the winter in good condition, due to abundant summer and autumn forage, are more likely to survive a severe winter.

Even in well-functioning ecosystems, some animals die during winter. This is natural and keeps ungulate populations in balance with their available habitat.

- Advertisement -

Community Interviews with Moose FM


Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest news delivered to your mailbox every morning.

More Articles Like This