Governments of Canada and Manitoba reach a conservation agreement on Boreal Caribou
March 1, 2023 – Gatineau, Quebec
The Government of Canada is committed to protecting and conserving nature and halting Canada’s biodiversity loss. The Boreal Caribou, famously depicted on Canada’s 25-cent coin, is an iconic species that plays a significant role in the culture and history of Indigenous peoples. However, Boreal Caribou are threatened, and their populations are in decline. Federal and provincial governments, Indigenous peoples, and other stakeholders must work together to ensure the species’ recovery and protection.
Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Honourable Greg Nesbitt, Minister of Natural Resources and Northern Development for Manitoba, announced that the governments of Canada and Manitoba have reached a three-year agreement to support the conservation and recovery of Boreal Caribou in the province. Environment and Climate Change Canada has provided nearly $1 million to support ongoing actions under the draft agreement and is committed to funding additional conservation measures in the coming years.
Conservation measures included in the agreement will support caribou conservation and recovery in the province and advance the recovery framework laid out in Manitoba’s 2015 Recovery Strategy for Boreal Woodland Caribou. The Government of Manitoba is committed to finalizing and begin implementing range plans in the province by 2025 and undertaking measures such as caribou population and habitat monitoring. The conservation measures were informed by the work and many collaborations that Manitoba has carried out over the years with various Indigenous and industry partnerships.
“Canada joined the global community in Montréal in December to reaffirm the urgency of safeguarding the world’s nature. The COP15 agreement only strengthened our government’s commitment to halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030. Iconic Canadian species, such as the Boreal Caribou, are declining. We need to reverse the situation, and the only way to do this is by working together with provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, and stakeholders. This is why we support the Manitoba government’s conservation and protection measures and its commitment to protecting the Boreal Caribou.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Boreal Caribou are highly important to the boreal ecosystem and have special significance to Indigenous peoples and other Canadians. This threatened species requires unified efforts to ensure its conservation and long-term existence in Manitoba. We are pleased to work in collaboration with the federal government to put forth increased efforts in recovery measures to protect the Boreal Caribou. A healthy caribou population is a positive indicator of the health of our boreal forests, and Manitoba will continue to lead in caribou recovery and conservation across North America.”
– The Honourable Greg Nesbitt, Minister of Natural Resources and Northern Development
Boreal Caribou are found in nine of our provinces and territories. It is one of the six priority species at risk identified under the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada.
The Boreal Caribou is listed as a threatened species under both the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) and Manitoba’s Endangered Species and Ecosystems Act.
It is estimated that there are 1,500 to 3,500 Boreal Caribou in Manitoba.
The bilateral Section 11 agreement between Canada and Manitoba establishes a framework for cooperation and sets out short-, medium-, and long-term measures in support of Boreal Caribou conservation and recovery.
Across Canada, Boreal Caribou populations are declining, primarily due to increased predation from habitat loss, and fragmentation from a combination of human land-use activities and forest fires.
Section 11 of the federal Species at Risk Act allows the federal government to enter into a conservation agreement with another government, organization, or person, to benefit a species at risk or enhance its survival in the wild.
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