Save the Threatened Caribou in Ontario - The Petition Site

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Human beings have the privilege of sharing this earth with many other species. We have the ability to protect these species, to ensure that this world retains the vast and varied beauty of life that now graces it. Yet many animal and plant species continue to fall into decline. The caribou populations in Ontario have recently been identified in this category. This is a problem not just for the people of Ontario or even Canada. It is a problem that should be tackled by the entire world.

On July 30, 2009 The Wildlands League released a new report showing that 7 out of 9 caribou populations in Ontario are tracking towards collapse due to high levels of industrial disturbance of their habitat. This is the first time this type of analysis has been applied in Ontario. Nine local ranges were examined along the northern limit of commercial logging in the province.

Trevor Hesselink, Director- Forest Programs, a chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wildnerness Society (CPAWS), stated that the habitat for 7 threatened caribou populations is so highly disrupted and fragmented by clearcuts, roads and fire that it cannot sustain any further logging and industrial pressure in the remaining intact forest. In April the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources released a map of local caribou ranges which it would be using to develop a Caribou Conservation Plan. Based on these maps CPAWS was able to conduct a thorough analysis of caribou population and found that 80% of the ranges at the northern end are tracking toward extinction, caribou have run out of space according to Janet Sumner of CPAWS.

Despite having released the maps, the Ministry of Natural Resources has taken no further steps to protect the caribou, at least through interim protective provisions, until the official plan is finalized. It has, instead, according to the report, used public dollars to construct more roads in caribou habitat.

This petition will be sent to the government of Ontario - Ministry of Natural Resources and the government of Canada - Ministry of Natural Resources, to request their immediate action to protect these fragile ranges in order to ensure the survival of the 7 caribou populations identified in this study as being threatened. We will request that all commercial logging, road construction and other industrial activity be immediately ceased in the areas identified in the study until a final Caribou Conservation Plan has been formalized.

The CPAWS Wildlands League website is

The press release and the report, A Snapshot of Caribou Range Condition, can be found at this website.



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