Conservation group welcomes new federal science report on caribou

Posted on April 9th, 2009

Source: Cpaws Manitoba

Calls for halt to logging and road building in remaining intact habitat

Winnipeg – Today, the Manitoba Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) welcomes the release of a groundbreaking scientific report from Environment Canada on Boreal caribou. The report underscores the importance of protecting large areas of habitat from human-caused threats in the Boreal Forest. It also confirms that threats to woodland caribou need to be managed at the range-level and significant parts of those ranges need to be protected.

The Environment Canada report, titled Scientific Review for the Identification of Critical Habitat for Woodland Caribou, shows that woodland caribou are in worse trouble than what was previously thought, the groups says.

“Woodland caribou is an icon of Canadian wilderness, and this new report shows that immediate action is needed in Manitoba and across the country,” says Ron Thiessen, CPAWS Manitoba Executive Director. CPAWS, a national conservation organization, launched a campaign last year to protect the habitat of Boreal woodland caribou. It has resulted in wide spread public concern for the species and thousands of letters being sent to the federal environment minister.

“We’re calling on the Manitoba government to revise its strategy for protecting caribou by making large-scale boreal forest protection its key objective,” says Thiessen. “This would be a grand step toward fulfilling their legal obligation to protect caribou habitat as required under the Manitoba Endangered Species Act.”

“An immediate halt to logging, road-building, and other developments is needed in critical intact caribou habitat while Manitoba finalizes its plan for woodland caribou,” Thiessen states.

The critical habitat report from Environment Canada was commissioned under the federal Species at Risk Act and requires the federal government to identify the habitat needs of species that are considered at risk of extinction.

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For more information:

Ron Thiessen – CPAWS Manitoba Executive Director – 204 794 4971 (cell), 204 949 0782 (office)

Aran O’Carroll, National Manager, Legal and Regulatory Affairs, CPAWS 613 569 7226 x232

Also available at www.caribouandyou.ca