Caribou agreement struck

by Steve Galea | July 22, 2022
caribou grazing in a river

The provincial and the federal governments reached an agreement in late April to support the conservation of boreal caribou in Ontario.

Estimates suggest approximately 5,000 boreal caribou remain in the province, ranging north of Sioux Lookout, Geraldton, and Cochrane, with an isolated population along the shore of Lake Superior.

They are listed as a threatened species under both the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) and the Ontario Endangered Species Act. The conservation agreement builds on Ontario’s ongoing caribou conservation program and the federal caribou action plan, through cooperation and investment in monitoring, reporting, protection, restoration, planning, management, and stewardship actions.

Both governments committed to over $5 million each for 2022-2023 to support conservation measures that rely on evidence-based approaches, including Indigenous traditional knowledge.

They also agree to:

• Increase protection of boreal caribou habitat through protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.
• Plan and implement habitat restoration activities.
• 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 conservation measures informed by independent experts, Indigenous communities and organizations, and stakeholders.

Prior to the agreement Canada and Ontario hosted several engagement sessions with Indigenous communities, environmental organizations, and industry stakeholders, to seek input to inform the final conservation agreement.

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