Study Says Canada's Boreal Caribou Herds are Dying Off

Reports Says Better Habitat Protection is Required
Environment Canada released a report (six months after it was finalized by scientists, thanks to the Conservative federal government): "The study concludes 29 of the 57 remaining herds of boreal caribou are not self-sustaining. Several are at risk in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan, where logging, mining and energy development has been booming in the last decade." Will the government do something? Probably not. It went to the trouble of adding a preface to the 254-page report saying it's not detailed enough to "identify critical habitat" to protect...

From the Ottawa Citizen:

"The inherent risks associated with a small population size warrant a cautious approach when considering potential resilience to any additional disturbance," says the report, that details the health of the different herds. They have already vanished from the Maritimes, southern Quebec and Ontario, and are increasingly threatened in the northern boreal, where an estimated 36,000 of the caribou still live.

Let's not wait until the remaining herds are gone to say "gee, maybe we should've done something." Act now.

Even if it's true that it's hard to identify the critical habitats - which is probably not the case - it would certainly be possible to identify some of them, or find measure to get the ball rolling the in the right direction. Conservation measures don't have to be perfect from the start.

Via Ottawa Citizen
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Tags: Animals | Canada | Conservation

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