Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Caribou Decline in Canada

Did you know Canada.. We honour caribou on the 25 cent piece but one of Canada’s most recognized national symbols is fighting a losing battle as their numbers continue to decline across the nation.

We've talked about the Caribou before but wanted to let you know about their current challenges.

As Parks Canada explains.. In recent years in the high arctic, the temperature has risen above freezing in October. The surface snow melts and re-freezes into a layer of nearly impenetrable ice, sealing off ground lichens and plants upon which these caribou feed in winter. Their numbers have decreased to the point where they are threatened with extinction.

Increase on human activities such as diamond mines, ice roads, oil and gas exploration, a pending pipeline and increasing populations in caribou territory is another major factor. There are now four diamond mines in the range of the Bathurst barren ground caribou herd.

Some populations have been determined to be at risk by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

According to Hinterland Who's Who There are national recovery teams, draft recovery plans, and coordinated recovery actions underway for the Peary caribou and the four populations of woodland caribou that are at risk: Atlantic-Gaspésie, Boreal, Southern Mountain, and Northern Mountain. Since the range of the Boreal population is so extensive, there are also regional recovery teams in place in each of the eight provinces and territories that have responsibility for “boreal caribou.”

It's time to think more about our national symbol, support conversation and recovery efforts and help save our Caribou.

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