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IOU for caribou

Conservationists say that the BC government's Mountain Caribou Recovery Plan comes with a major "IOU" for caribou: protections against mineral exploration development, snowmobiling, and heli-skiing in critical habitat are still outstanding.

Mountain caribou near Stagleap Park, BC. Photo © Rob SinclairCaribou biologists are generally positive about the BC government's 2009 Mountain Caribou Recovery Plan, but conservationists, including biologists, say that plan comes with a major “IOU” for caribou. Protections against mineral exploration development, snowmobiling, and heli-skiing in critical habitat are still outstanding—unfinished business that presents an unnecessary risk to the recovery of the animals.

As part of the government’s final “IOU,” Mountain Caribou Project groups are calling on the government to fully protect caribou, and:

•    Act on all the science-based recommendations to close mountain caribou habitat to winter motorized recreation.
•    Boost caribou numbers in threatened herds with animals transplanted from elsewhere to ensure herds achieve a number conducive to self-sufficiency
•    Ensure that any activities within designated habitat support the recovery goals and require a caribou biologist’s review.
•    Ensure that large areas of caribou habitat that were missed due to mapping errors are protected.
•    Ensure that predator strategies are transparent and that wolves and cougars are not scapegoats for incomplete habitat protection.

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