Protection Coming to Ontario’s Often-Overlooked Boreal Caribou Herds

As heard on a recent episode of Outdoor Journal Radio, Ontario announced this spring that they are teaming up with the federal government to provide support to the province’s struggling boreal caribou herds.

For those unfamiliar with Ontario’s caribou population, the province is home to a distinct population of Woodland Caribou known as Boreal Caribou, named for their non-migratory tendencies and ability to remain in the boreal forest year-round.

Due to a variety of natural and manmade factors, it is estimated that between 40 and 50 percent of Ontario’s caribou range has been lost since the 1800s. As a result, the province’s Boreal Caribou population currently sits at just 5,000 individuals.

Although the Boreal Caribou is listed as a threatened species under both the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) and the Ontario Endangered Species Act, recovery has been slow (to say the least) and the provincial and federal governments have decided it is time to intervene once more, enacting plans to:

  • Implementing habitat restoration activities.
  • Increase protection of boreal caribou habitat through protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.
  • Use evidence-based approaches to manage for self-sustaining local populations.
  • Monitor and report on current and projected future population and habitat conditions.
  • Collaborate and implement of conservation measures that are informed by independent experts, Indigenous communities and organizations, and stakeholders.

These measures will be carried out with contributions of $5 million from both the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario.

But is this really enough? Angelo certainly doesn’t think so. Check out his take on the latest bill here.

What do you think of the bill? Let us know in the comments below!

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