Friday, October 09, 2009

Environment Canada - Wildlife and Landscape Science News - Summer 2009

Environment Canada - Wildlife and Landscape Science News - Summer 2009: "> Boreal Caribou Critical Habitat Science Review

Boreal Caribou | Photo: Elston DzusThe boreal population of the woodland caribou (also called boreal caribou) was assessed by COSEWIC as Threatened in May 2002. In accordance with the Species at Risk Act (SARA), the Minister of the Environment must prepare a recovery strategy that includes an identification of critical habitat to the extent possible. As part of the effort to identify critical habitat for this Threatened species Environment Canada published the Scientific Review for the Identification of Critical Habitat for Woodland Caribou, Boreal Population (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in Canada on the Species at Risk Public Registry.

Critical habitat identification for the boreal caribou is a multi-layered process that takes into account information at both small and large geographic scales as well as over different time periods. The Scientific Review provides a foundation for understanding whether local populations of boreal caribou are self-sustaining, and outlines an approach for critical habitat identification. However, the Scientific Review does not provide enough guidance to enable the identification of critical habitat under SARA. In particular, further information is being considered to understand the amount, type, and spatial distribution of disturbance that can occur within a local population range while maintaining a self-sustaining population.

The results of the Scientific Review, further scientific work, and knowledge of boreal caribou held by Aboriginal peoples, provincial and territorial governments, and other interested or affected parties, will be considered in order to inform the national recovery strategy for boreal caribou, including the identification of critical habitat.

The proposed national recovery strategy for boreal caribou will be posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry in the summer of 2011 for a 60-day public comment period.

Contact: Stephen Virc"

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