Boreal Woodland Caribou

The north is often symbolized by caribou. School children even know of the massive herds made up of thousands of barren ground caribou migrating across the open tundra. The caribou is one of those iconic species, featured prominently on Canada’s 25-cent coin. Boreal woodland caribou are a variety of caribou, related to the caribou living in the north. They are also related to the reindeer, which is what the species is referred to in northern Europe. Boreal caribou live in forests, and travel much shorter distances every year, if at all.

Moving through Canada’s boreal forests, woodland caribou are a bellwether for intact wilderness. Caribou have been shown to be incredibly sensitive to disturbances like roads and clearings. As we fragment our forest for industrial activity, we remove a bit more caribou habitat.

With the establishment of Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA) in 2003, woodland caribou became a protected species under federal law.

In June 2006, after the Wilderness Committee collected more than 10,000 signatures from concerned Manitobans, the provincial government finally listed the woodland caribou under the Manitoba Endangered Species Act (MESA). This was tremendous news, and an important step for the protection of this iconic species, but the woodland caribou is not safe in the woods yet. Unless the habitat of these beautiful and elusive animals is protected, as is legally required by MESA, the high-risk herds of caribou will accelerate down their path to extinction.

Large logging corporations operating in caribou habitat on public land are putting forth risky and experimental plans for destroying caribou habitat, even though similar actions have proven detrimental in other provinces.

In the winter of 2007-2008, caribou numbers were down sharply in Tembec's logging area, after massive experimental harvests were conducted. The logging corporation says this is likely just a blip.

In Tolko's logging area, their expansion plans don't even account for the existence of caribou. In areas that are already set aside from industrial activity to protect caribou, Tolko has decided to run destructive all-weather roads. Most caribou habitat in Tolko’s logging are already riddled with clearcuts and bisected by roads.

Government action on protecting caribou habitat, on both the federal and provincial levels, has been very slow coming. The Manitoba government in particular does not wish to release data about caribou populations. What Manitobans deserve, and the woodland caribou require, is a moratorium on all logging operations in or near caribou habitat until the Manitoba government presents a peer-reviewed management plan for each caribou range. Plans and experiments put forth by logging corporations—companies with vested interests in logging caribou habitat—have proven to be devastating to caribou, and will not be accepted by the concerned citizens of Manitoba.

Recent Developments

7 weeks 4 days ago
Their Land: Last of the Caribou Herd will screen on Saturday, March 10 at 6pm at theParamount Theatre (503 Victoria Street).    The 22nd Annu
15 weeks 9 hours ago
IdeasXChange is excited to present their third forum of the academic year Bridging Barriers: A Discussion on Evid

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Canadian Premiers Contact Info


Alberta BC Quebec
Legislature Office West Annex Édifice Honoré-Mercier, 3e étage
307 Legislature Building Parliament Buildings  835, boul. René-Lévesque Est
10800 - 97 Avenue Victoria, BC V8V 1X4 Québec (Québec)  G1A 1B4 
Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6    
  Phone:  (250) 387-1715  Phone: 418 643-5321 
Phone: 780.427.2251   514 873-3411 
  Fax:  (250) 387-0087  

Fax: 780.427.1349


  Fax: 418 643-3924
Newfoundland & Labrador Saskatchewan Manitoba
Confederation Building, East Block Room 226 204 Legislative Building
PO Box 8700 2405 Legislative Drive 450 Broadway
St. John's NL  A1B 4J6  Regina, SK  S4S 0B3 Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8
Phone: (709) 729-3570 Phone: 306-787-9433 Phone: 204-945-3714

Fax: (709) 729-5875


Fax: 306-787-0885 Fax: 204-949-1484
Nova Scotia Yukon Ontario
PO Box 726 PO Box 2703 Legislative Building 
Halifax NS  B3J 2T3 Whitehorse YK  Y1A 1B2 Queen's Park 
    Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Phone: (902) 424-6600  Phone:  867.393-7007  
    Phone: 416-325-1941

Fax: (902) 424-7648


Fax:  867.393.7135  
New Brunswick Nunavut PEI
Centennial Building PO Box 2410 Shaw Building
PO Box 6000 Iqaluit NU  X0A 0H0 PO Box 2000
Fredericton NB  E3B 5H1   Charlottetown PE  C1A 7N8
  Phone: 867-975-5050  
Reception: (506) 453-2144    Tel: (902) 368-4400
  Fax: 867-975-5051  
Fax: (506) 453-7407    Fax: (902) 368-4416
  Northwest Territories  
  Government of the Northwest Territories  
  PO Box 1320  
  Yellowknife NT X1A 2L9  
  Phone: (867) 767-9000  


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