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Caribou in peril, Ontario warned: Toronto Star

Facing \'emergency,\' province urged to halt logging, road building in threatened habitats

Excerpted from the Toronto Star, July 30 2009
By Catherine Porter, Environment Reporter

The Ontario government should halt all logging and road building in endangered woodland caribou habitat, as six out of nine known populations below the 51st parallel are at risk of collapsing, environmentalists warn.

A report released today by the Wildlands League reveals the formerly pristine habitats of six caribou populations have already been disturbed by logging and wildfires to the point where they likely will no longer sustain the extremely sensitive species.

A seventh caribou range is close to the established threshold beyond which scientists say caribou become too exposed to predators and no longer reproduce sufficiently to maintain their numbers.

"We\'ve always suspected trouble. We didn\'t realize it was this bad," says Anna Baggio, director of conservation with the Wildlands League, the Ontario branch of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

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