State of southern mountain caribou habitat in BC: exceeding disturbance limits

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Conclusion: Habitat disturbance levels exceed recovery thresholds for 17 out of 21 (or 81%) of southern mountain caribou subpopulations throughout BC. In 2003, southern mountain caribou were first listed as at risk under SARA. Since then, BC has not provided the effective protection that they are responsible for. The federal government has also not fulfilled their obligations under SARA to step in and provide habitat protection on non-federal lands while also failing to complete critical habitat mapping. We entreat the federal government to complete habitat mapping and issue an emergency protection order under s. 80 of SARA for all LPUs surpassing recovery thresholds: all LPUs in the southern group and the Chlicotin, Telkwa and Tweedsmuir LPUs in the northern group. The emergency order should be extended to the central group if the province fails to implement the Partnership Agreement in full by the spring of 2020. Once all remaining intact critical habitat is protected, other measures to help address short-term decline can be explored in collaboration with First Nations, such as habitat restoration, blocking access and maternity pens.