Stan Boutin, a scientist with the University of Alberta, is criticizing the Alberta government for not bumping up the status of woodland caribou from “threatened” to “endangered.” He says that population data shows that the species is in rapid decline and that some herds will have disappeared altogether within the next 10 years, but that the Alberta government refusing to change the species’ status. According to Boutin, the science shows that only way to truly prevent the loss of caribou is to protect their habitat from industrial activity. Unfortunately, the Alberta government isn’t willing to consider this. (See full story: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/technology/Herds+trouble+across+range/4319005/story.html)
We have a similar situation in Ontario. The government has recently recommended that industry be exempt from the Endangered Species Act in the vast majority of caribou habitat . This is despite the fact that the species has been pushed off of 50% of its range in the last 100 years due to industrial development (see details at http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/928094--ontario-choosing-development-over-caribou-eco-groups).
If provincial governments continue to ignore science and allow unfettered and unplanned development in caribou habitat, we will undoubtedly lose this iconic Canadian species