Government of Canada releases proposed federal action plan on boreal caribou and encourages collaboration on protection efforts
Government will consult on proposed plan for 60 days
July 27, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Environment and Climate Change Canada
Canada’s natural heritage is an integral part of our national identity and history; Canadians expect their governments to conserve and manage Canada’s wildlife species and ecosystems responsibly.
Today, the Government of Canada released the proposed federal action plan on the protection and recovery of the boreal caribou. This is an important step forward in our efforts to protect the boreal caribou and enhance biodiversity in Canada, and it fulfills Canada’s commitments under the federal Species at Risk Act.
In addition to plans and actions to protect and recover boreal caribou, the federal action plan also presents recovery measures that the Government of Canada is taking for boreal caribou, under three pillars:
- science to support recovery, including the establishment of a knowledge consortium
- recovery and protection, with a focus on critical habitat
- reports on progress to ensure that recovery efforts are effective
The Government of Canada plays a key coordination role in ensuring boreal caribou are receiving adequate protection across the provinces and territories. Because the vast majority of critical caribou habitat in Canada is managed by provinces and territories, the Government of Canada first looks to provincial and territorial governments to provide protection for boreal caribou and its critical habitat on non-federal lands.
The proposed action plan encourages provinces and territories to complete their range planning work as soon as possible. Provinces and territories are now working to develop range specific plans or other similar documents for boreal caribou by October 2017.
Effective recovery of the boreal caribou will require unprecedented levels of innovation, cooperation, and collaboration amongst the federal government, provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, industry, environmental organizations, and local communities. It will need to involve creative measures to protect and enhance habitat while also working to ensure continued economic development and job creation.
Indigenous peoples, stakeholders, and other parties will be invited to take part in a series of webinars on this proposed action plan and to submit written feedback on the document by September 27, 2017.
“Canada’s natural heritage is an integral part of our national identity and history. Few symbols of Canada’s natural heritage could be stronger than the caribou shown on our 25-cent coin. Canadians expect their governments to conserve and manage Canada’s wildlife species and ecosystems responsibly.
“We must all work together to protect species at risk and support economic growth. Provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, industry, and environmentalists all play a role in finding innovative ways to protect and recover boreal caribou while supporting economic development and job creation.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
The boreal population of the woodland caribou (boreal caribou) has been listed as threatened under Canada’s Species at Risk Act since 2003 and has been in decline for some time.
Caribou are found across Canada, including the boreal caribou, which inhabits the boreal forest from Yukon and British Columbia to Labrador.
In 2012, the federal, provincial, and territorial governments agreed on a recovery strategy to address the declining population of the boreal caribou—to protect and recover this iconic species in all 51 caribou ranges in Canada. This strategy was based on extensive consultations and multi stakeholder input, and it provided that the specific plans to recover boreal caribou would be in place by late 2017.
The Government of Canada plays a leadership role in providing the scientific foundation for the boreal caribou recovery strategy. Through continued collaboration with governments, Indigenous peoples, and stakeholders, all partners will build a collective body of evidence to support a successful recovery of caribou.
Marie-Pascale Des Rosiers
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free)
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