Time is ticking for the federal government to meet caribou deadlines

October 5, 2016, Ottawa – Today, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) launched a caribou protection countdown clock. The clock marks the final year before the federal government’s deadline to report publicly on the progress made to meet the objectives of the boreal woodland caribou recovery strategy. Despite 4 years passing since the release of the strategy, there is little evidence that progress has been made on the performance indicators listed. These include:
  1. Completing the plans to conserve critical habitat for each herd (range plans) by October 2017;
  2. Maintaining the current distribution of boreal caribou across Canada;
  3. Achieving and/or maintaining stable to increasing population trends for all the herds as measured over five years;
  4. Achieving or showing progress towards having a minimum of 100 boreal caribou in ranges where population estimates were less than 100 animals in 2012;
  5. Maintaining the undisturbed habitat needed for boreal caribou to carry out life processes at a minimum of 65% of the total range;
  6. Identifying and providing a plan for where future habitat is to be restored to an undisturbed condition over reasonable, gradual increments.
In addition, the government has committed to provide measurements of disturbance for each range that reflect the best available information, as provided by the provinces and territories, to update the recovery strategy accordingly every five years. CPAWS has been tracking the steps being taken to protect the boreal caribou’s critical habitat since 2013. We remain hopeful that in this last year, before the first 5-year report is due, more concrete steps will be made to protect this iconic species. -30- Contact: Karen Turner, 613-569-7226, ext. 232 National Director of Communications and Development