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“No herd left behind”: 32,000 support protecting Canada’s iconic woodland caribou


Ottawa—Today Bou, the mascot for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and National Executive Director Éric Hébert-Daly arrived on Parliament Hill to present Environment Minister Peter Kent with the names of over 32,000 people asking him to protect boreal woodland caribou, one of Canada’s most iconic species. The signatures were delivered just a week before the end of the public consultation period on the federal government’s draft boreal woodland caribou recovery strategy, required under the Species-At-Risk Act.

“We felt this was an important time for the minister to be aware of the number of people concerned about the future of boreal woodland caribou and their habitat,” says Hébert-Daly.

Bou and Éric Hébert-Daly present the names of 32,045 of their closest friends.

If left as is, the federal strategy would only require action to recover one-half of Canada’s remaining local populations of woodland caribou to self-sustaining levels. CPAWS is also concerned that the proposed strategy would not require adequate habitat protection for the remaining herds, putting them too at eventual risk of extinction. Boreal woodland caribou, which only survive in large, intact forests, are a symbol of the ecosystem’s health.

“The current caribou draft recovery strategy must be strengthened, otherwise it will NOT support the survival of ALL of Canada’s remaining boreal woodland caribou,” explains Hébert-Daly. “We’re concerned that the government may be prepared to sacrifice some herds instead of considering limits to industrial development. No herd should be left behind,” emphasizes Hébert-Daly.

CPAWS has collected signatures from across the country from people concerned about the future of one of our most iconic species. The goal was to collect one voice for every remaining woodland caribou in Canada. Canadians responded strongly.

“This petition further emphasizes the public’s concern over the issue. As Canadians we need to come together and rally for the protection of one of our most iconic species,” says Hébert-Daly. The government is expected to announce the final caribou recovery strategy before the end of March.

CPAWS believes that conserving boreal woodland caribou habitat across the country is possible while also ensuring a prosperous forest sector.  We are working to achieve both goals through the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement.  Through the CBFA, environmental groups are working with the forest sector to propose effective caribou conservation plans that address socio-economic impacts.

For more information on CPAWS caribou campaign, visit www.caribouandyou.ca,
Contact: Holly Postlethwaite, National Public Relations Coordinator, holly@cpaws.org,
613-569-7226 ext.232

High resolution press release photo available here.