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By protecting caribou, you are protecting your future. Caribou need the intact ecosystems that provide the fresh air and clean water we need to survive. By saving caribou's remaining habitat in Canada’s Boreal forests and Northern tundra, we are protecting our health and a way of life for Indigenous peoples, and slowing the effects of climate change.
Caribou have been a fundamental part of our northern ecosystems for more than 2 million years. They have shaped and been shaped by the harsh climates and landscapes, and are built for survival where few others can live. Predators like wolves, bears, wolverines, and even humans have relied on the regular appearance of caribou as a source of food for thousands of years, many adapting their hunting patterns to follow caribou migrations.
Canada’s caribou have survived multiple ice ages, natural events like forest fires and insects that have disseminated their food sources, and, in recent past, rebounded from overhunting once the pressure was removed. In a way, they are a resilient species, adapting over time to survive in different landscapes.
However, even a resilient species cannot adapt overnight to significant changes in their landscape that directly undermine their survival strategies. Caribou are vulnerable to extensive fragmentation of their landscape, which for various reasons exposes them to more predators and decreases their access to food sources.
As the climate changes, natural pressures like fires and pests may also result in increased amount of young forests occurring in the landscape, further amplifying the direct human impacts on the landscape.
Across Canada, CPAWS national and regional conservation staff and volunteers are working with provinces, territories and the federal government, progressive companies, local communities and First Nations to develop conservation measures for boreal woodland caribou on public lands, including those leased to resource companies.
OUR CONSERVATION GOALS:
WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED:
Learn more about what our chapters are doing to protect caribou in their regions:
This report is our second annual review of Canada’s progress in conserving boreal woodland caribou habitat since the 2012 release of the federal recovery strategy for boreal caribou under the Species-at-Risk Act (SARA).
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) has been conducting annual reviews of progress by federal, provincial and territorial governments to protect and recover Canada’s remaining boreal woodland caribou1 populations since 2013, the year after the Recovery Strategy for the Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), Boreal population, in Canada2 was issued by the federal government under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).
In our first annual assessment of how well provinces and territories are doing in meeting their obligations to protect boreal caribou since the federal recovery strategy for the species was released in 2012, the majority get bottom marks for lagging so far behind in protecting one of Canada’s most iconic species at risk.
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