Mountain caribou are critically endangered. The 2007 caribou recovery plan was a big step forward but the animals are showing few signs of recovery. The BC government’s own science team notes that much of this habitat is less than fully protected for caribou.
Critical caribou habitat still needs protection from inappropriate motorized winter recreation, mineral exploration and energy development, and overcutting of beetle damaged forest. According to biologists caribou are more vulnerable to predation by wolves, cougars, bears and wolverines because of landscape-level habitat changes and smaller numbers. Thus forest management and planning must consider landscape-level stewardship that protects caribou up front instead of as an afterthought.
Such an approach must incorporate sweeping old-growth protections and restoration, cumulative effects and access management, and community involvement in decision-making.
What Can I Do?
Talk about mountain caribou to friends and neighbours so everyone knows about this wonderful animal on the edge. Lend strong support to groups and organizations that are acting to protect our wildlife heritage.
Contact commercial backcountry tourism operators and let them know that the health of mountain caribou and all wildlife within their tenure on public lands must be a management priority.
Communicate with your government officials, the Premier’s office, your MLAs and agency officials. Urge the government to follow the plan’s recommendations on limited recreation, mining, and other activities in mountain caribou critical habitat to further protect caribou.